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September 25, 2020

Raze all encroachments on Railways land: SC

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September 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Thursday expressed dissatisfaction with the report on encroachments on the state land in Karachi and directed the Sindh government to remove all of them at the earliest.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, resumed hearing in a suo motu case related to huge financial deficit of the railways department.

The court sought a comprehensive progress report on the matter and directed that all encroachments on the state land be removed at the earliest.

Justice Gulzar observed that the report, comprising mostly pictures, showed that encroachments had been made in the entire railways land with huge buildings standing on both sides of the track.

He asked the CEO/GM Railways Dost Ali Laghari how all these encroachments along the rail track had been made and how the train would run.

He said the CEO Railways should immediately take tractors to the sites and remove all the encroachments. He said no one would be allowed to encroach even an inch of the railways land.

To a court query about the railway line underpasses, the provincial authorities informed the court that a survey of around 11 underpasses had been completed while survey on the remaining 13 would be completed soon. The chief justice directed that all the underpasses and flyovers on the rail track should be state of the art and should not be blots on the landscape.

Meanwhile, secretary railways assured the court of clearing the Railways land of encroachments.

The court sought a progress report in this regard and adjourned the hearing to date-in-office (indefinite period).

Meanwhile, hearing another case, the apex court again rejected the apology of alleged contemnor Agha Iftikhar Uddin Mirza.

Mirza had used a derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous language against the judiciary in a video that went viral in June.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, heard the case.

Sarkar Abbas, the counsel for the alleged contemnor, informed the court that her client could not appear before the court as he was sick with corona and had undergone heart surgery.

The counsel pleaded that her client should be pardoned. The chief justice, however, rejected the counsel’s plea and said the matter would be looked into after Mirza ensured his presence in the court.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked Additional Attorney General Sohail Mahmood whether medical reports had been submitted to the court to which the law officer said in the affirmative. Later the court adjourned the hearing for one month.