close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
March 22, 2020

SHC sets aside ejection order against tenants of Askari shopping complex

Karachi

March 22, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has set aside the ejection order of the additional controller of rent against the tenants of the Askari shopping complex-I situated in the Clifton area.

The high court observed that whenever and whatever any action was taken by any authority against the common citizens of Pakistan that adversely affected their fundamental right to hold an immovable property under the Article 23 of the Constitution, the citizens were entitled to have information about such an action.

The order came on first rent appeals filed by 19 tenants of different shops at the Askari shopping complex situated on Khaleequz Zaman Road in Clifton against the ejection order by the rent controller of the cantonment board.

The appellants submitted that the rent controller on the application of the director general (DG) of the Army Housing Directorate GHQ had struck off the defence and directed them to vacate the demised shops. Their counsel Mohsin Shahwani submitted that the DG Army Housing had sent common notice to the appellants to vacate their shops at the Askari complex and eviction had been sought on the solo ground that the Pakistan Army was fighting against terrorism and to keep the morale of soldiers high, the welfare budget was required to be enhanced by raising a multi-storey commercial building on the plot to look after the families of the Shuhada and disabled persons of the army.

The counsel submitted that the rent controller had no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the rent application as he was himself an employee of the cantonment board working under the direct control of the DG ML&C and requested the high court to set aside the ejection order.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the appellants had committed willful default in payment of rent and the rent controller of the cantonment board had jurisdiction to pass an order on it.

A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Nazar Akbar, after hearing the arguments of the case, observed that neither did the additional controller rent have jurisdiction nor had he applied judicial mind to the facts and circumstances of the case.

The SHC observed that the rent controller had also violated the fundamental right of the appellants under the Article 10-A of the Constitution.

The high court observed that whenever and whatever any action was taken by any authority against the common citizen of Pakistan adversely affecting their fundamental rights guaranteed to hold immovable property under the Article 23 of the Constitution, they were entitled to have information about such action. The court observed that common citizens had right under the Article 10-A of the Constitution and even otherwise if an order or action adverse to the interests or rights of a person regarding an immovable property was taken, he should be informed about the circumstances leading to such adverse action as he had the right to challenge the same in accordance with the law.

The SHC observed that the non-disclosure of such information to the affected people would amount to deprive them of their fundamental right.

The high court observed that in the present case, the appellants prima facie had a perpetual right in the demised shops under the agreement with the respondent and whenever the Army Housing Directorate DG decided to launch any commercial project by demolishing the property in question, the rights of the appellants under the existing agreement should be protected and no effort should be made to wriggle out of the contractual obligations except in accordance with the law.

The SHC observed that the appellants should have properly informed with the relevant material details of any proposed action. The court observed that the landlord appeared to have filed rent cases in the additional controller rent although he had no jurisdiction and then tried to subvert the entire trial in name of section 19 (8) of the Cantonment Rent Restriction Act which was a mala fide attempt to deprive the appellants of their constitutionally guaranteed lawful right in the demised shops which were subject matter of these rent appeals. The court set aside the ejectment order of the rent controller of the cantonment board.