Wednesday Sep 22, 2021
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition for review of the decision to demolish Karachi's Nasla Tower and directed the commissioner to have the tower vacated within a month.
A hearing was held at the Supreme Court Karachi Registry under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed.
During the proceedings, the lawyer representing Nasla Tower, Munir A. Malik, told the court that the commissioner is "lying in his report".
"You are sitting here to ensure justice. If you simply send someone to take a look at the service lane, you will see whether or not it has encroachments," Malik said to the court.
The chief justice remarked that "there is no service lane", to which the counsel said that "if we have encroached upon the service road, then you may go ahead and order the tower demolished".
CJP Ahmed said that is what the court has ordered.
"No. You have simply ordered it demolished. If this continues, all of Karachi will be demolished," the lawyer responded by saying.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that the court heard all the parties on the issue, after which it ordered an inspection, to which Malik said that no notice regarding an inspection was received.
Malik requested that the site be re-inspected, to which the chief justice said: "Why should we do that when we have all the documents ready here?"
The lawyer said that this case does not concern the Sindh government, or the federal government, and has nothing to do with Sindhi Muslim Society.
"We have purchased land from the federal government, not occupied it. Several similar buildings have been constructed on Sharah-e-Faisal and 23 such other plots were allotted," he added.
The chief justice asked: "Tell me, how did Nasla Tower go from 780 yards to 1,121 yards?"
"If you buy a property without reviewing it properly, is it our job to get you back your money?" he inquired further.
The lawyer insisted that no encroachment had taken place, to which the chief justice said: "You have encroached upon public land."
The counsel for the allotees asked for one more chance, to look for the required documents, but the chief justice asked how many more chances can the court give, adding that no one lives in the building now.
"We are living there," the lawyer said, asking the court to send the commissioner to see for himself.
This prompted the chief justice to ask Malik if he, too, is living there, to which he replied in the positive.
The Supreme Court rejected the petition and directed the commissioner to vacate the tower within a month and issued notices to the Sindh government, director of the anti-encroachment department, and other concerned agencies.