The Sindh High Court sought on Tuesday a comprehensive reply from the military lands and cantonment department over a petition pertaining to a no-objection certificate for houses allegedly constructed on railways land and restraint on construction of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Railway Society Project 2A-One.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam was informed by the Pakistan Railways’ counsel that the houses in question were falling on the route of the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
The military lands department’s representative stated that as per the Supreme Court’s judgments, railways land could not be used for any other purpose.
At this, the bench remarked that it appeared that the petitioners were being mistreated by the respondents. The petitioners’ counsel argued that his clients’ houses were located 400 yards away from the railway track. These houses are not being given security clearance but new private housing projects are being built adjacent to them, contended the counsel. He argued that the respondents’ contentions were baseless and the petitioners’ houses were “absolutely legal”.
The court sought a comprehensive reply from the military lands department by October 11 over military land security clearance and land claims.
Meanwhile, a two-member bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and comprising Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Sheikh’s petition seeking disqualification of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah over dual citizenship.
The bench ruled that the petition alleging CM’s dual citizenship and false affidavit was not maintainable.
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Haleem, who is also the Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly, had contended that the CM was disqualified by the Supreme Court in 2013 for concealing dual citizenship but Shah still contested by-polls and won. The PTI leader argued that the CM should be declared ineligible under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan as is no longer Sadiq or Amin.
After the SHC’s verdict, Haleem announced that he would appeal the court’s decision before the Supreme Court.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Nisar Khuhro, facing a probe into embezzlement of wheat worth millions of rupees from the government’s granaries, has approached the SHC for bail before arrest, though the investigators have yet to issue an arrest warrant.
The SHC has sought a reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the bail plea moved by PPP Sindh President Khuhro and others.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi heard Khuhro’s petition.
The NAB prosecutor told the court that they are only at an inquiry stage and have yet to decide whether to take the former food minister into custody for questioning. The prosecutor sought more time to complete the inquiry.
The court questioned the NAB prosecutor as to whether the arrest warrants of the accused had been issued. “If the accused’s arrest warrants are not issued, we may dispose of the application,” the court remarked.
The prosecutor asked the court to grant him time to file a reply regarding the arrest warrant of Khuhro. The court while seeking reply from the NAB at the next hearing extended the bail of the accused persons till November 5 and adjourned the hearing.
According to NAB, an inquiry is underway against Khuhro pertaining to corruption in the food department. The accountability watchdog is conducting three inquiries against the PPP leader.
The same bench heard Khuhro’s appeal to remove his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
The Assistant Attorney General of Pakistan sought time to file the reply. The court directed the federal government to file a reply by October 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2021.