SHC directs govt to remove encroachments from land allocated for KU

Maqbool Ahmed

21st Oct, 2021. 07:37 pm

A file photo of the Sindh High Court in Karachi.

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the provincial government to remove encroachments from a piece of land allotted for establishing a research institute for cancer in the Malir district of Karachi.

Former vice-chancellor of Karachi University Dr Zafar Saeed Saifi had filed a petition submitting that seven acres of land was allotted for establishing an institute for anti-cancer drugs research institute of the University of Karachi. However, the possession of the land was never handed over and it was encroached by land grabbers.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan had on October 12 issued bailable arrest warrants of provincial secretary revenue and secretary land utilisation department for skipping hearing despite a court order. The bench then had asked the senior member board of revenue to be present in the court on the next date of hearing.

When the petition was taken up for hearing on Thursday by the same bench, member board of revenue Shams Soomro appeared along with other revenue officials.

The bench expressing its dismay over the absence of a senior member board of revenue asked the official as to why the land was not being handed over to Karachi University. The officials replied that the land was allotted to someone else and alternate land would be allotted to the institute.

The counsel for the petitioner Advocate Asim Iqbal submitted that the revenue officials had been making the same statement for past many hearings.

He submitted that despite court orders neither possession of original land had been handed over to the institute neither has an alternate land been allotted.

The bench kept the matter aside for one hour and directed revenue officials to communicate senior member board of revenue and other senior government officials to appear in the court or be ready to face contempt of court proceedings.

When the bench took the petition again for hearing at 11:00am secretary revenue and secretary land utilisation appeared before the court.

The bench directed both secretaries to hand over the vacant and peaceful possession and tile of the land to the institute within 10 days.

The bench made it clear if the order of the court was not implemented within the stipulated time, then contempt of court proceedings would be initiated against both secretaries.

After their appearance, the bench also withdrew the arrest warrants.