SHC stays razing of Haleem’s farmhouses

Issues contempt of court notices to Sindh chief secretary, other parties


OUR CORRSPONDENT February 13, 2021
Haleem Adil Shaikh. PHOTO: Haleem Adil Shaikh

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court issued on Friday an interim stay order against the demolition of farm houses owned by opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh in a contempt plea relating to the matter. The court also issued contempt of court notices to the Sindh chief secretary and other parties.

At the hearing, counsel for the petitioner, advocate Shamsul Islam, contended that the demolition of the properties by the Sindh government was "an act of revenge" and that the provincial had wrongly interpreted the Supreme Court's order on the matter.

Following that, the court issued an interim stay order against the demolition of the farmhouses, restricting the relevant authorities from taking any action until February 23.

Extension granted

Separately, a two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi, granted an extension to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for submitting a reply on the bail pleas of Pakistan Peoples Party leader Syed Khursheed Shah, his alleged front man, Mahesh Kumar, and others accused in an assets beyond means case.

The petitioners have anticipated arrests by NAB officials in the plea and moved the court to restrict the antigraft watchdog from taking any action against them in the absence of court orders.

At the plea's hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that evidence against the accused had been collected and a reference would soon be filed against them.

The summary for filing the reference has been sent to the NAB headquarters, he added.

He requested the court for an extension to submit a reply on the plea until the headquarters' approval for filing the reference.

The court granted him an extension until March 11.

Intezar murder case

At the hearing of the bail pleas of the accused Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) officials in Intezar murder case, the court sought arguments from defence lawyers at the next hearing.

Besides, the court sought the apex court's verdict on the bail plea of the accused, Tariq Raheem and Tariq Mehmood.

Thereafter, the court adjourned the hearing until March 2.

Raheem's bail plea has already been rejected twice. He is among the nine ACLC officials booked for gunning down Malaysia returned student Intezar in Defence Housing Authority on January 13, 2018.

Of the accused, eight have been arrested and one is out on bail.

FIA action challenged

Separately, the court expressed annoyance at the employees of a software company for attending in large numbers the hearing of a plea challenging action initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against the software company over allegations of fraud, money laundering and extortion.

The plea terms the FIA's action "an act of revenge" and states that 1,500 employees have been restricted from entering their workplace. It moves the court for barring the FIA from taking action against the company.

When the company's employees gathered in the courtroom during the hearing of the plea on Friday, the court warned them against it, stating that the plea would be rejected otherwise.

Besides, the FIA prosecutor informed the court that investigations against the company were underway and a final challan would be submitted soon. Following that, the court adjourned the hearing until March 17.

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