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July 15, 2020

SHC issues notices on plea against illegal lifting of sand and gravel

Karachi

July 15, 2020

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the secretary of the mines and mineral department, the deputy commissioner of Thatta and others on a petition seeking a crackdown against the illegal lifting of sand and gravels in Thatta.

Petitioner Afroz Shah submitted in her petition that she was one of the stakeholders of the M/s Qureshi Salt & Chemical Works (Pvt) Ltd situated at Mirpur Sakro in Thatta which was owned by her late father A M Qureshi.

She said the high court had passed several directions, including appointments of the official assignee as an administrator, for the properties left by the owner of the Qureshi Salt and Chemical Works.

The petitioner’s counsel, Syed Mureed Ali Shah, said his client came to know about the illegal lifting of sand and gravel from the property land in Thatta by the private respondents and the official assignee was asked to take action against the culprits involved in the illegal lifting of sand and gravel from the property land, but no action had been taken in this regard.

He submitted that the private respondents under the patronage of police and revenue officers and officials had started the illegal lifting of sand and gravel from the property of the petitioner’s father as well as the Barsati Dora at Dhabeji police station during day and night through heavy machinery.

He said the respondents’ illegal excavation exercise by heavy machinery had badly affected the surface of the petitioner’s land and the illegal lifting had caused irreparable damage to the land of the M/s Qureshi Salt & Chemical Works (Pvt) Ltd as well as the ecology and topography of Dhabeji.

He said the action of the private respondents with the connivance of police and revenue officials was illegal and were in utter violation of Article 4 of the constitution in the discharge of their duties and obligations, which they had completely failed to perform.

The court was requested to direct the secretary mines and minerals and the home department to launch a crackdown against the illegal lifting of sand and gravels within the entire territorial jurisdiction of district Thatta, including the land of the M/s Qureshi Salt & Chemical Works as well as the Barsati Dora at Dhabeji station, and confiscate all machinery used for the illegal lifting.

He also sought an injunction against the illegal lifting of sand and gravel and requested the court to appoint any judicial officer to hold a local inspection, investigation and spot inquiry from where the lifters had removed sand and gravel.

The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Khadim Hussain M Sheikh, after the preliminary hearing of the petition issued notices to the mines and mineral secretary, the deputy commissioner of Thatta and others and called their comments on August 6.