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Counsel told to explain why plea against anti-encroachment drive is maintainable

Karachi

January 9, 2021

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed a lawyer who is challenging the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s anti-encroachment drive in the Mehmoodabad area to satisfy it about the maintainability of the petition, saying that action is being taken on directives of the Supreme Court.

At a hearing on Friday, Zahid Ramzan and other petitioners said the anti encroachment cell had issued notices to them in violation of the law for the vacation of the houses situated in Liaquat Ashraf Colony of the Mehmoodabad area.

They said they had been issued with leases by KMC and their houses were not constructed on the storm-water drain’s land. They submitted that KMC authorities were misinterpreting the orders of the Supreme Court, and requested the court to restrain the KMC and other authorities from dispossessing them from their houses. A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Junaid Ghaffar, turned down the counsel’s request for the grant of an interim injunction, observing that anti-encroachment drive was being initiated on directives of the Supreme Court, and the petitioners should approach the apex court if they had become aggrieved by its orders.

The high court directed the counsel to satisfy it on the maintainability of the petition, saying that action was being taken on directions of the SC. The court issued notices to the KMC, director of the anti-encroachment cell and others on petitions of the Haji Mohammad Ali Foundation and residents of Gulshan-e-Zia against the notices for eviction from their properties.

They submitted that they had been granted leases by the KMC and they purchased plots through an auction in PECHS Block 6 and Orangi Town areas. They said the KMC authorities had failed to consider the fact that their plots were constructed on leased land and did not fall into the category of any encroachment. The court directed the KMC and other respondents to file comments on the petitions by January 15.