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Tuesday Dec 11 2018

SC rejects Sindh govt's petition to halt Karachi anti-encroachment drive

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Sindh government’s petition to halt the Karachi mayor from carrying out a city-wide anti-encroachment drive and directed the provincial government to resolve the matter themselves with the civil administration.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a petition against the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the metropolis at the SC’s Karachi Registry.

As the hearing went under way, the chief justice remarked, “We had asked for Empress Market to be made into a model and had not issued an order at the time. The work was initiated by the Karachi mayor on his own.”

“The order to clear footpaths and roads was clear. There was chaos following our order but we cannot end the writ of the state if people start protesting. Should we leave these illegal encroachers? People have illegally occupied official residences,” he added.

Further, the top judge said, “We want to make Karachi better but your vested interests are creating hurdles.”

At this, the Sindh advocate general requested the court to “bar the Karachi mayor from carrying out the anti-encroachment drive for four weeks”. “The mayor is speedily razing encroachments,” he added.

However, the chief justice remarked, “Why should we stop him? You both should sit together and decide.”

The court then sought a report from the Karachi mayor on the anti-encroachment drive tomorrow.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Mayor Waseem Akhtar said, "The court has given time to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), federal and Sindh government to sit together and submit a report by 8:30 am tomorrow."