Former senator challenges flea market in front of St Joseph’s College

SHC seeks KDA, Lines Area development project director's reply on encroachments on welfare plots

Our Correspondent August 31, 2021


Former senator and an eminent religious personality, Maulana Tanveerul Haq Thanvi, has moved a petition in the Sindh High Court against the presence of a flea market and encroachments on amenity plots in front of St Joseph's Convent School in Saddar.

The former senator's counsel informed a two-member bench, comprising Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam, that the bara [flea] market, mostly run by 'illegal' immigrants, causes traffic jams and was also attracting 'criminal' elements close to churches, convents and schools and colleges located in the area.

The petitioner's counsel contended that the flea market, selling smuggled and used goods, was constructed on plots numbered C7 and C2/9. There is a girls' college in front of the plot and there is a problem of traffic jams at this place, he said, adding that it is feared that a tall building will be constructed after the construction of the bara market.

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The counsel prayed the court to direct the Karachi commissioner and other relevant officials to shut down the market, which has encroached on amenity plots.

Issuing notices, the bench sought replies from the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) director-general, Lines Area Redevelopment Project director and other parties, regarding the encroachment by bara market on welfare plots in Lines Area.

Thanvi, who was elected senator on a Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) ticket, then joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), before joining the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) earlier this month, runs the mosque and seminary founded by his father Maulana Ehtishamul Haq Thanvi when he migrated from Thana Bhawan to Karachi's Jaccoblines in 1947.

Police station on private property

In another case, the same bench sought replies from the attorney-general, the Sindh works and services department, the Karachi Cooperative Housing Society and other relevant officials on a petition pertaining to Bahadurabad Police Station allegedly set up on private property.

The petitioner's counsel argued that the Bahadurabad Police Station was set up on private land. He contended that it was illegal to set up a police station on civilian land.

The bench inquired whether the said police station was on legal grounds. "Who owns the land of Bahadurabad Police Station?" asked Justice Khan, observing that the case has been pending since 2009. The responses of the parties were not collected. If the parties do not submit answers, the court will decide the case, he said.

Bahadurabad Club

Separately, the same bench issued contempt of court notices to the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and revenue department's land director on a petition regarding alleged illegal constructions at Bahadurabad Club.

Advocate Khalil Ahmed Siddiqui, counsel for the petitioner, stated that on May 6, 2021, the court ordered the demolition of the structures. However, construction was underway despite a court order. Action should be taken against the officers who committed contempt of court.

Four-storey plaza on residential plot

The bench heard another petition challenging illegal constructions on Jamshed Road.

The petitioner's lawyer stated that a four-storey building is being constructed on the plot in front of his client's house. The lawyer moved the court to halt ongoing construction on the plot, maintaining that a complaint was lodged with SBCA but no action was taken. Legal rights are being affected by the construction of multiple storey buildings, the lawyer argued.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2021.


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