close
Saturday April 13, 2024

SHC dismisses plea against charging Mazar-e-Quaid entry fee

By Jamal Khurshid
April 03, 2024
A view of facade of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — AFP/File
A view of facade of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — AFP/File

The Sindh High Court (SHC) dismissed the petition filed against the charging of entry fee from people visiting the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

An SHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi said the petition was filed without having any knowledge about Section 5 of the Quaid-e-Azam Mazar (Protection and Maintenance) Ordinance, 1971, which authorises the respondents to maintain the mausoleum.

The court said that other provisions of the ordinance also reflect that since it is the responsibility of the respondents to maintain the mausoleum, and also ensure law and order and regulate the entry of visitors, they have the authority to charge reasonable entry fee as well as parking fee.

The bench, however, said that such fees should be in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance and the decisions of the Quaid-e-Azam Mazar Management Board (QMMB), and that such income/expenditure is subject to an annual audit in the instant case.

The court said that it cannot file any merit in the petition and, hence, dismissed it. The bench also put the petitioner on caution to be careful in future as regards filing such kinds of petitions, otherwise they would be dismissed with heavy costs. Waqef Shah had said in his petition that the QMMB has been charging entry fee from people visiting the mausoleum. He said he had approached the QMMB to withdraw the decision of charging entry fee because no such fee is being charged from people visiting Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore.

Shah said the QMMB has been charging visitors entry fee in the name of maintenance charges, adding that this act is discouraging people from visiting the mausoleum of the Father of the Nation. He requested the court to direct the QMMB not to charge entry fee from visitors. He also requested the court to call a report with regard to the maintenance of the mausoleum.