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No Go Area: Supreme Court directs Inspector General Police, Director General Rangers to lead operation

Islamabad, March 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): A five member bench headed by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprising other four members, namely, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan heard Suo Moto Case No. 16 of 2011 along with CMAs (Implementation proceedings of Judgment of the Supreme Court reported as PLD 2011 SC 997.

During the hearing of the case on 22.03.2013, the Court noted that there had been question mark on the allotments of the lands at the rates lower than market value, therefore, on 03.01.2001, in pursuance of Sindh Urban State Land (Cancellation of Allotments, Conversion and Exchanges) Ordinance, 2000, the allotments, conversions or exchanges of Urban State Lands obtained or granted for residential, commercial or industrial purposes at the rates lower than the market value in violation of law or ban from 01.01.1985 were cancelled.

However, a committee under section 4(2) of the Ordinance was constituted for carrying out the purposes of the Ordinance and it was mentioned therein that after making such inquiry as it deemed fit, if the government is satisfied that the allotments, conversions or exchanges of the urban state land are obtained or granted for residential, commercial or industrial purposes at the rates lower than the market value in violation of law or ban, it shall determine the amount of loss caused to Government and call upon the person concerned to pay such amount within the specified period. The Committee so constituted, reportedly, has not concluded its task so far.

The Bench observed that 542 allottees, whose description is available in appendix-III in the reply of Board of Revenue (CMA 73-K/2013) succeeded in getting the allotments in their favour under the policy on the basis of statement of conditions mentioned therein obtained land at lower rates instead of at the market rates as is mentioned in the Policy of 2006. Files of aforesaid 542 allotments were made available for perusal of the Court. The Court framed following questions for determination:-

(i) As to whether in terms of lease agreement under the statement of policy issued by Government of Sindh under section 10 of the Act, the allottees or the lessees whose names have been filed in the appendix-III (CMA 73-K/2013) and all those allottees/lessess to whom such properties have been transferred up to 15.3.2013, have utilized the same as per the terms and conditions within stipulated period?

(ii) If not, as to whether in terms of sub-section (5) of section 10 of the Colonization Act, any action has been taken by reversing the entry in their names. The allotment or lease in respect of land mentioned hereinabove from 2006 onward up to 15.03.2013 in Karachi Division has been made in a transparent manner on receiving the market price following the phenomena of willing seller and willing buyer, or otherwise?

(iii) If any irregularity has been committed, the responsibility shall be fixed on the officer by the Commission?

(iv) Whether granting lease or making allotments of government lands in Karachi in transparent manner can prove to be helpful in future for the development of the Karachi?

(v) Any other issue, which the Commission considers needs to be addressed?

Therefore, inter alia to ascertain above questions, the Court directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a Commission headed by Mr. Nazar Muhammad Leghari, Consultant of Revenue Department and depute two officers from the Revenue Department of his choice to provide him assistance.

The Commission, if need be, may increase manpower at its own option and the Chief Secretary shall cooperate fully with the Commission, he would also settle fee of the Commission with its Chairman, which shall be paid in advance.

In addition to it placing a reasonable amount at the disposal of the Commission to meet day-to-day expenditure. He would also issue directions to all the Mukhtarkars and Deputy Commissioners/Revenue Officers of Karachi to provide all necessary assistance to him. The Chief Secretary shall also provide logistic support to the Commission to complete the task. The Commission is required to complete its task within a period of two weeks after receipt hereof.

The Court further issued the following directions:-

(a) In the Watan Party’s case (ibid), it has already been directed that “there must be no, ‘No Go Area’ at all but despite the probe made by us during hearing, heads of both the functionaries were not agreeable on the existence of ‘No Go Areas’ in Karachi but it has been established on record by means of credible information that ‘No Go Areas’ do exist in Lyari, therefore, in pursuance of our earlier judgment, the IGP himself and if necessary the DG, Rangers shall also personally lead the operation into such areas to make Karachi free of ‘No Go Areas’ and peaceful city to protect and also provide them a congenial atmosphere free from hold of the criminals so that they may live peacefully and also participate in forthcoming general elections, polling of which has been schedule to be held on 11.05.2013. They have to complete the task within a period of two weeks and compliance report to the Registrar for perusal in Chambers, if in the meanwhile instant case is not listed for further hearing.

(b) Mr. Shahid Hayat, DIG/Police authorities are hereby directed to conduct investigation in the murder case of Arshad Pappu and others honestly, fairly and strictly in accordance with law, without sparing any person involved in the commission of crime. DG, Rangers, if required, shall also provide adequate assistance to the police in view of the mandate, which has been given to the Rangers under section 5 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997, so that the real culprits are brought to book and writ of government as well as rule of law is fully established.

(c) Notice of CMA 181-K of 2013 be issued to IGP, DG, Rangers as well as to the Editor and Publisher of the Newspaper, Daily Josh to place on record the original extract of Daily “JOSH” Karachi dated 21.03.2013, copy of which has been appended with the application.

(d) The Government of Sindh may create an independent post of Project Director, IT in Police Department as it has already been observed in the para supra.

(e) The SP Encroachment Cell is directed to submit his report within 7 days as to whether the encroachments by the land-grabbers have been cleared within the Karachi area and land has been retrieved.

(f) The Prosecutor General, Sindh is directed to submit the details of the cases, which were filed before the Tribunal or the Special Court under the Sindh Public Property (Removal of Encroachment) Act, 2010 and state the reasons for failure of the cases by fixing responsibility upon the officers involved in these cases and action, if taken against them. He would further state as to whether the properties encroached/grabbed have been retrieved or not?

(g) Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Pirzada, learned ASC shall procure and produce in Court copy of the petition pending before the High Court in respect of cases of KDA Scheme No.36 and the judgment, if has been announced by the learned High Court enabling this Court to have the benefit from the same.

(h) Notice of CMAs No. 164-K/2013, 156-K/2013, 179-K/2013 and 93/2013 be issued to Board of Revenue, Senior Member Land Utilization for next date of hearing.

(i) The Senior Member Board of Revenue is directed to put up details of the claims submitted by the alleged owners, allottees, lessees of the agricultural properties, filed by them before the Revenue authorities, Mukhtarkar etc. during re-construction of the revenue record while examining/handling the cases of 872 Deh, in respect whereof it has been alleged that record has been burnt.

(j) Notice of CMA No.183-K/2013 be issued to the Senior Member Board of Revenue, Member Land Utilization as well as the Secretary Forest.

(k) The District and Sessions Judge Hyderabad is directed to appoint a judicial officer not below the rank of Senior Civil Judge along with President District Bar Association Hyderabd to visit Deh Shah Bukhari, Taluka Qasimabad and prepare a report indicating as to whether on the land, which is meant for reserved forest, who is in the possession and whether any construction work is going on on the said land.

(l) The Member, Land Utilization will also independently visit the above-said land and submit his report whether any construction work has commenced over there and detail report shall be submitted by him within two weeks.

(m) Notices of CMA 164-K, HRC No. 40539-S/2012 and CMA 184-K/2013 be issued to the Senior Member Board of Revenue and other persons who are party in this case as per its proceedings.

(n) Notice of SMC No.14/2009 be issued to the Board of Revenue.

(o) In CMA No.148-K/2013 applicant has prayed for providing protection and action against one Muhammad Asad Thanvi. Notice be issued to Advocate General and IGP, Sindh to submit report before the next date of hearing.

(p) CMA No.108-K/2013 has been filed by Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi. Notice be also issued to the IGP, Sindh for filing reply.

(q) Comments of CMA 390-K/2013 be obtained from IGP, Sindh.

The case has been adjourned to 4th April, 2013 at Karachi.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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