SC dismisses Nasla Tower owner’s review petition

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

22nd Sep, 2021. 05:31 pm
Supreme Court Orders To Remove Encroachments From Govt's Land In Karachi

The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday dismissed petitions of the owner and residents of Nasla Tower that was seeking a review of the June 16 judgment that had ordered the demolition of the 15-storey building in Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS)

When review petitions were taken up by a three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Advocate Muneer A Malik, counsel for the owner, pleaded that the service lane which the judgment said was blocked by the project was absolutely clear.

Malik stated the SC order says the owner had encroached land while he had possession of 1,044 square yards.

On this Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan asked the counsel what title document did the owner had for the additional area beside the original area of 780 square yards. He observed that the additional area was neither incorporated in the original lease nor any subsequent lease deed.

To this, Malik stated that as far as the lease was concerned even the entire land of SMCHS which sold land to the owner of the tower was not leased. He stated that SMCHS in 1986 had filed a suit against KMC for specific performance for grant of lease which was still pending.

The counsel contended that it was wrongly stated in the commissioner Karachi’s report that the service lane of Shahrah-e-Faisal was blocked due construction of the tower. The counsel stated that it was the flyover constructed over Shahrah-e- Quaideen that had blocked the service lane.

Justice Ijaz reminded the counsel that the issue was not of blockade of service lane as the court had held that the Nasla Tower was constructed on “encroached land which amongst other things has also blocked a service road.”

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed specifically asked the counsel whether the service road was encroached or not.

The counsel replied then all the projects along the service road should be demolished.

“Every offence has its own punishment and in case of Nasla Tower, if there had been any violation of law, its punishment, in my humble opinion, should not have been demolition of the building,” said Mailk.

The counsel submitted that the owner’s possession of 1,044 square yards was not illegal and could not be termed encroachment. He stated the possession of the owner under section 53(A) of Transfer of Property Act was the equitable title and could be considered for compounding.

The bench after hearing Malik and Abid Zubairi, counsel for the residents, dismissed the review petitions through a short order. The bench also directed the commissioner to give reasonable time to petitioners for vacating the building before going ahead with its demolition. 

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