Wednesday September 22, 2021

SHC orders status quo in respect of ACE inquiry into high-rise

August 01, 2021
SHC orders status quo in respect of ACE inquiry into high-rise

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered the status quo in respect of an anti-corruption inquiry pertaining to the construction of a high-rise building in the Drigh road area.

The interim order came on a lawsuit of Haneef Yousuf who challenged the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) inquiry pertaining to two acres of open commercial-cum-residential land in the Drigh road area.

A counsel for the plaintiff submitted that his client had purchased the land in question, which was regularised in March 2010, from the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association. He submitted that the plaintiff started construction on the property after the completion of all legal and codal formalities strictly in accordance with the approved plan.

The counsel informed the SHC that ACE initiated an inquiry against the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in relation to the suit property which was already closed in 2018. He submitted that ACE had again initiated an inquiry into the subject property and issued impugned notices to the plaintiff and others.

He submitted that the impugned notices with regard to the inquiry were mala fide as ACE had already dropped the earlier inquiry proceedings after assigning a proper reason and there was no basis or justification for reopening it.

The high court was requested to declare the inquiry of ACE as unlawful and restrain its officials from carrying out any proceedings in respect of the property till a decision of the case.

A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar, after a preliminary hearing of the plaint, issued notices to ACE, Sindh advocate general and others, and called their comments. In the meantime, the high court directed ACE to maintain the status quo on the subject inquiry proceedings.

Notice to NBP

The SHC issued notices to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and others on a petition of employees seeking a direction to the bank for payment of annual increment to the bank employees.

The employees association of the bank had submitted in the petition that they were aggrieved due to delay and non-payment of annual increment pursuant to annual appraisal in their salaries.

Their counsel submitted that the impugned acts of the bank of non-payment of annual increment from effective date were illegal and contrary to the rules of the bank. He submitted that the NBP was continuously violating the bank’s human resource guidelines in payment of annual increment to its employees.

The high court, after a preliminary hearing of the petition, issued notices to the bank and a federal law officer, and called their comments.