The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Sindh chief minister and the chief secretary on Tuesday to take strict action against people involved in illegal allotment of land in the province.
A two-member bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and comprising Justice Omar Sial heard the case pertaining to the illegal allotment of government land to builders.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that 10 acres of land in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Scheme 33 was allotted to a builder. The court issued a stay order against the cancellation of land allotment in 2014, he said, adding that despite judicial orders, no senior board member, nor anyone else, appears before the court for the hearing of the case pertaining to the cancellation.
The additional prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) maintained that the builder has acquired a stay order in the case pertaining to the cancellation of the land allotment.
The court expressed annoyance with the NAB’s prosecutor over the illegal allotment of government land to builders and asked why the inquiry against builder, Farukh Matin, wasn’t completed despite the passage of this many years. The prosecutor was asked to answer the court instead of giving irrelevant statements.
“What is being done with the land of Sindh. It appears to be a systemic failure. Stay orders have been acquired in every other case pertaining to land allotments,” remarked the bench, adding that NAB inquiries were only completed timely in cases that NAB was interested in.
The court directed the chief minister and the chief secretary to take action against persons involved in the illegal allotment of state land in the province and to personally look into the matter. A report on the completion of the inquiry against Farukh Matin was also sought from NAB.
The same bench extended the interim bail of former city nazim and Pak Sarzameen Party Chairperson Mustafa Kamal and other accused in the reference pertaining to illegal allotment of state land in Clifton.
Kamal and other accused appeared before the court. The bench extended their interim bail till November 7.
Meanwhile, the bench disposed of the plea seeking an inquiry against former MNA Hakim Baloch for owning assets beyond income due to the absence of evidence against him.
The former MNA appeared before the court. The NAB prosecutor maintained that no evidence could be found against him. The inquiry has been completed and a report has been sent to the head office, he said while praying the court for a four-week extension.
The court accepted the NAB’s request and adjourned the hearing till December 3 while disposing of the plea against the former MNA.
Judge recuses himself
Meanwhile, Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi refused to hear the plea pertaining to removing Prisons Advisor Aijaz Jakhrani’s name from the Exit Control List. A two-member bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Sangi was hearing the plea filed in the reference pertaining to assets beyond means.
Justice Sangi refused to hear the plea which stated that Jakhrani wanted to go abroad for medical treatment and therefore his name should be excluded from the ECL. The petition cited the cases of Ayan Ali, former president General (R) Pervez Musharraf, and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif as precedent.
The case has been sent to the CJ Ahmed Ali Shaikh for the formation of a new bench.
Jakhrani is facing two NAB inquiries – one in Sukkur and the other in Islamabad.