SHC extends pause on Gulshan-e-Mustafa demolition

Restrains commissioner from issuing any more notices to residents


Our Correspondent June 30, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday once again restricted the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) from conducting a demolition operation in Gulshan-e-Mustufa.

It extended the stay order issued to Karachi Commissioner and others who were restrained from issuing fresh notices to residents of the locality which had been declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The court directed the parties to submit replies by July 12. A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Rashida Asad conducted the hearing of the petition moved against action taken on illegal constructions on amenity plot ST-14.

The counsel of the petitioners maintained that Gulshan-e-Mustufa is at a distance of two kilometres from ST-14. An operation against leased houses of Gulshan-e-Mustufa has been instigated in the garb of demolishing encroachments in ST-14, he said. The apex court had ordered action on ST-14 alone.

The state counsel maintained that the concerned institutions did not receive the court notice and asked for an extension to submit a reply.

Police funds stolen

An SHC bench on Tuesday sought a response from the investigation officer on arrest warrants issued to suspects in a corruption reference against former Sindh IG Ghulam Haider Jamali for allegedly embezzling police funds. The hearing of the case was adjourned till August 25.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Yousuf Ali Saeed and Justice Adnan Iqbal Chaudhry conducted the hearing of the bail plea.

The counsel of the suspects maintained that NAB did not issue arrest warrants for Jamali and several others in the reference filed in 2018. The lawyer further maintained that he would further inform the court after checking the arrest warrant.

The court also extended the interim bails of the former IG and others until the next hearing. According to NAB, the suspects embezzled police funds and caused a loss to the national exchequer.

Tracker number plates case

An SHC bench on Tuesday rejected the petition of a private contractor who sought on an exemption in the tendering process to install the latest tracking number plates.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Rashida Asad, announced the reserved verdict on putting the latest tracking number plates on vehicles in Sindh.

The court approved the tender of the institution run under the defence ministry to install the latest number plates and rejected the petition of the private contractor.

The court, in its judgment, maintained that all law enforcement agencies should be consulted on the installation of the latest tracking number plates.

The Sindh government maintained that making of radio-frequency identification (RFID) number plates was sensitive work. Thus, keeping the sensitivity in view, the tender was issued to the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) which works under the ministry of defence.

According to the counsel for the provincial government, only NRTC is authorized to make the electronically readable RFID number plates in the country.

The government counsel maintained that owing to the sensitivity of the issue, the Sindh government exercised the authority to grant exemption from open bidding, hence, the objection raised by the private contractor should be rejected. The court rejected the petition of the private contractor.

The verdict was earlier reserved by another bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan.

Read More: Building collapse during demolition drive leaves four injured in Karachi

Denied CNIC

A differently-abled 31-year-old Rubina approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) for her Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).

The petition maintained that despite reaching the age of 31, she has yet to receive the card which is vital for opening bank accounts, buying a SIM card and accessing government assistance and education.

Though paralysed from the waist below, Rubina said she made numerous visits to the NADRA office over the last 13 years, but they keep putting up objections. "I have not seen my father, but I have his CNIC," she said. The petitioner appealed to the court to help her obtain a CNIC.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2021.

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