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July 29, 2018

SHC restrains private school from using plot for commercial purposes


July 29, 2018

The Sindh High Court has restrained the management of a private school from using a residential plot in Block 6 of PECHS for any other use other than residential purposes till the disposal of the case or when the property is converted for any other use by a competent authority in accordance with the law.

The directive came after residents of the area submitted an application against a private school and college. The applicants sought an injunction on the grounds that the lease of the property restricts its use to residential purposes only, whereas it is being used for commercial purposes.

They submitted that the school’s administration did not follow the procedure prescribed to change the purpose of the land, adding that the operation of the school caused nuisance by way of traffic jams, overloading of civic amenities, noise and air pollution and street vendors.

The prosecution contended that the property was not even eligible for conversion under the Sindh Building Control Authority laws because it faced a road no wider than 35 feet, while, under the said regulation, only a plot facing a minimum of 60 feet wide road is eligible for conversion.

The defence counsel submitted that more than 200 students were getting education in the school, whereas similar schools on five plots in residential neighborhoods were operating in the same area as well as across Karachi. He argued that running a school did not constitute as a commercial activity; therefore, there is no violation of the undertaking given by the school management to the court.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court approved the application of residents by restraining the school management from using the property for any other use except residential until the final disposal of the case unless the plot was converted for another use by the competent authority in accordance with law.

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