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Karachi

November 14, 2017

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SC tells city commissioner to remove illegal shops in DHA

SC tells city commissioner to remove illegal shops in DHA

The Supreme Court on Monday took notice of non-implementation of its directives with regards to removal of illegal shops in a multi-storey commercial plaza in Phase V of Defence Housing Authority, Karachi, and directed the Karachi commissioner to supervise the removal process and submit a compliance report.

Hearing a petition regarding illegal construction of shops on an area reserved as parking space for the building located in DHA Phase V, the two-member SC bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed expressed annoyance over non-compliance of court directives against illegal conversion of a parking area into shops by the DHA.

The bench observed that the Supreme Court had ordered the removal of the illegal shops on September 6, 2012, from the building, Grace Centre, which had been constructed after approval from the DHA. The court, in its order, had observed that DHA had no power to condone illegal construction in a part of the building that was meant for car parking, as such power was vested with the relevant cantonment board under sections 184 and 185 of the Cantonment Board Act.

The court observed that DHA had failed to comply with the court’s orders despite the passage of five years. The SC bench was informed by the provincial law officer that DHA did not provide machinery to remove the illegal shops and requested more time to implement the court’s order. The court, however, directed the Karachi commissioner to remove the shops under his supervision and to submit a compliance report.

  Biometric verification for pilgrims

The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the federal law officer, ministry of foreign affairs and ministry of religious affairs to file comments on a petition against biometric verification for Umrah pilgrims by a Dubai-based company.

Petitioner Rao Nasir Ali Jehangir submitted in the petition that Saudi authorities had conveyed to the Pakistani government that all visas for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims would be activated after biometric registration by a Dubai-based firm.

He submitted that such a condition was not only a threat to the country but also its citizens as the Dubai-based company was a private firm and one of its directors was an Indian national. He submitted that pilgrims would be charged Rs650 for registration which would increase their miseries and also put the security of country at stake.

The petitioner requested the court to restrain the government and the private company from collecting biometric data of pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah till the disposal of the petition and to direct the government to hold an inquiry into the matter. He also requested the court to conduct the verification through the National Database Registration Authority.

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