The Sindh High Court (SHC) has extended its earlier stay order against demolition of leased properties around Gujjar and Orangi town drains till June 1.
According to the report, the Sindh High Court headed by Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi after the provincial law officer and the lawyer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) expressed ignorance of the order to cancel the lease of these properties. The bench ruled that the concerned authorities should be allowed to seek appropriate orders from the Supreme Court.
In the last hearing, the bench had restrained the authorities from demolishing the leased lands around the two canals till the decision of the Supreme Court.
It may be recalled that KMC had approached the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the demolition of the leased properties, which was scheduled to be heard on May 17.
When a set of petitions filed against the anti-encroachment campaign and demolition of leased properties around drains came before a divisional bench for hearing on Tuesday, petitioner Faisal Siddiqui told the court that a bench of the apex court had directed the Chief Justice. The cases were heard at the Karachi Registry of the Supreme Court on Monday, but the matter did not come up for hearing.
However, he said that the petitioners had also filed a petition before the Supreme Court for an early hearing of the case.
The counsel further told the bench that KMC had filed another petition before the apex court in connection with the pending proceedings before the Anti-Encroachment Tribunal set up under the Sindh Public Property (Elimination of Encroachment) Act, 2010.
Counsel for the petitioners also argued that the KMC had approached the Supreme Court for termination of the encroachments and not for the land leased by various government departments for 99 years.
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The bench asked KMC’s counsel and Assistant Advocate General Sindh whether the Supreme Court had passed any order to cancel the lease of the properties under discussion under the Katchi Abadi Act, 1987 and the Karachi Development Authority.
However, the duo maintained that they were not aware of any such order approving the cancellation of leases.
The court said that in such a situation, the respondents should be allowed to get appropriate orders from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The court extended its previous stay order till June 1 and adjourned the hearing.
Some NGOs, along with dozens of others, had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court alleging that their houses near Gujjar and Orangi drains had been leased by the KMC and other departments and now they were being threatened to demolish as per court orders.