The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a progress report with regard to the filing of reference against former Sindh law minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar for allegedly having accumulated wealth through illegal means.
Lanjar had obtained protective bail from the SHC against NAB’s call-up notice with regard to the accumulation of wealth and properties. A NAB prosecutor submitted that the draft reference had been sent against the former law minister to the head office of NAB after removing the departmental objections for approval or otherwise. He sought time to file the progress report with regard to the approval of the reference by the competent authority.
NAB has alleged that the petitioner had bank accounts worth Rs466.335 million and he purchased agriculture land of 300 acres and residential properties in Nawabshah and Karachi worth billions of rupees beyond his known sources of income.
A division bench of the high court, headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, directed NAB to file a progress report with regard to the filing of the reference and extended the protective bail to Lanjar till September 3.
Plea against heavy traffic
The SHC directed the chief secretary to assist the court to resolve the issues with regard to the prevailing situation of traffic and movement of heavy vehicles in Karachi.
Hearing a petition calling for the resolution of frequent traffic jams and the movement of heavy vehicles in different parts of the city, a division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, observed that the provincial law officer had filed minutes of the meeting chaired by the chief secretary to resolve the traffic-related issues, however, no viable solutions were mentioned in the minutes that indicated that the authorities were taking positive steps to resolve the problem.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Project Director Terminals Syed Abbas Rizvi submitted that despite several approaches to the relevant authorities, no progress could be made for the demarcation of 100 acres of land for the establishment of a goods transporters terminal on the Super Highway.
The SHC directed the Malir Development Authority director general and the chief secretary to appear before it on September 17 to assist the court with regard to various traffic-related issues of the city.
The court had earlier directed the chief secretary to submit a report with regard to the allotment of land for the purpose of intercity buses and goods transporters terminals in the city after convening a meeting with the stakeholders.
It is pertinent to mention that a technical committee constituted to streamline heavy traffic in the city had recommended the removal of encroachments from all the main arteries in the city and the construction of the southern bypass, and elevated expressways and interchange bridges in different parts of the city to accommodate the flow of the 107,000 heavy vehicles plying in the city.
The technical committee, headed by the transport secretary, had suggested various long- and short-term plan for improvement the traffic situation in the city. It called for revisiting and properly implementing the traffic routes and traffic laws.
As short-term measures, the committee suggested that encroachments from all the main roads and arteries be removed and oil tankers shifted to the Zulfiqarabad Oil Terminal. It was also suggested that U-turns on the Northern Bypass and Mauripur Road should be closed and all civic agencies should establish a mobile repairing unit for the immediate maintenance of damaged portions of roads and removal of debris after the accidents.
The petitioners, Faisal Bengali and others, had filed the petition with the SHC with regard to the unsatisfactory situation of traffic in the city and the movement of heavy traffic during the day hours. They submitted that the route map earlier submitted by the traffic DIG before the court was not being implemented in its letter and spirit