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Thursday Apr 08 2021
Web Desk

We are going to remove Commissioner Karachi: CJP Gulzar Ahmed

Web Desk
An encroachment operation being carried out in Korangi. Photo: APP

  • SC expresses anger at reports submitted by Karachi Commissioner.
  • Apex court dismisses appeal filed by Kidney Hill Park residents requesting time before the encroachment operation commences.
  • "If you are creating so many problems for us, imagine how many problems you create for the people": SC to SBCA.

KARACHI: Angered at the city's encroachments and lack of development, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday said it will remove Karachi Commissioner. 

The apex court was hearing a case related to operations against encroachments in various parts of the city when it questioned the commissioner's performance. 

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was presiding over the hearing at the Karachi Registry of the Supreme Court. The Karachi Commissioner and other senior officials were present for the court hearing. 

"You think we will take the deputy commissioner's report seriously? What type of a report is this?" he asked the chief secretary. "It's written everywhere that the report is awaited. Chief Secretary sahab remove such officers."

The legal counsel for the Kidney Hill Park residents, Barrister Salahuddin, requested the Supreme Court to direct the builder to compensate them for selling them encroachments.

"Our houses [on the land] have been built for the past 25 years and the maps for them were approved by the Sindh government," he said. 

To this, the CJP responded: "They're not children. While buying houses, one is fully aware [regarding details of the land]," he said. 

The apex court dismissed the request filed by Kidney Hill Park residents to grant them time before their encroachments are razed to the ground. 

The Karachi Commissioner presented a report related to the YMCA Ground during the hearing, saying that all pending work has been completed except for the installation of lights at the ground. 

He also presented a report on Shahrah-e-Faisal and Shahrah-e-Quaideen to the apex court. The bench expressed dissatisfaction over the report compiled by the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). 

Addressing the SBCA representative, the bench asked: "Do you know that the SBCA is an agent of the builders? Where are you when such lofty buildings are constructed? If tomorrow someone shows you a permit for the construction of the Chief Minister's House, will you allow to build that as well?"

Referring to the Karachi Commissioner and the SBCA, the bench said these institutions were "rubber stamp", adding that they had no idea how many NAB cases will be filed against them based on the irregularities related to encroachments. 

"If you are creating so many problems for us, imagine the number of problems you create for the people," remarked the chief justice. 

He said the Sindh chief minister was directed to submit a report in the apex court and in response, "he said all is well". 

At this, the chief justice said the apex court is going to remove the Karachi Commissioner. "Very sorry to be saying this in front of you but look at the report we have in front of us. What can we do?"

The court remarked that the person running the SBCA's operations was making billions. "The most amount of [illegal] money is being made in the SBCA's Sub Registrar Office," said the bench.

The encroachments at Kidney Hill Park

During a hearing held by the Supreme Court last year, the Karachi commissioner had informed the apex court that eviction notices had been sent to residents of the Farhan Society, which had been built on illegally occupied land at the Kidney Hill Park in the city. 

During the heating, Shehri CBE — a citizens rights foundation— told the court that 24 houses in Farhan Society were illegally built on four plots of the Kidney Hill Park. 

The court had warned authorities that if they fail to evict the residents of the illegally occupied land, then contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against them. 

The Supreme Court had also inquired about the progress of the removal of encroachments from the city's busy road, the Shahrah-e-Quaideen.