SHC upholds early verdict to end encroachments in Federal B Area
KARACHI – The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday refused to change or suspend its verdict to end encroachments and illegal constructions in Federal B Area and ordered immediate restoration of welfare parks by removing Essa Goth.
“If you are affected by the court verdict, go to the Supreme Court which itself had ordered to end all the encroachments and illegal constructions in the area. The SHC does not have the power to interfere in SC verdicts,” said Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi while hearing the case.
Akhtar Hussain Advocate adopted before the court that those living in the goths also had the right to housing.
“The first is the right of those who are already settled there,” replied Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi and questioned: “Don’t the people who live in Federal B Area flats have the right to parks?”
“The land reserved for parks were encroached on and the illegal constructions were leased out,” said the SHC judge and questioned: “Tell us, what is the plan for the victims after the elimination of illegal settlements?”
The victims of anti-encroachment operations along Gujjar Nullah, Orangi Nullah and Mehmoodabad Nullah were also mentioned in the SHC. “Tell us, did anything happen for the rehabilitation of the victims?” Justice Rizvi enquired from the public prosecutor and ordered him to submit a progress report to the court.
“This is the slum to which the lease was issued,” Akhtar Hussain Advocate told the court.
“Land up to drains was leased out,” said Justice Rizvi and added: “It seems the administration will not be able to retrieve even a single welfare park.”
Justice Rizvi lamented: “Nothing will happen here. At present, parks are being leased out. Flats have been built on the land reserved for welfare parks in the entire city. The Federal B Area is a scheme of 1960, and all of its parks have been encroached upon. Now, there is no park near the dwellers of the flats. All the land meant for parks have been occupied.”
The SHC sought a policy from the Sindh government about Esa Goth victims, asking the Sindh government to tell what plan had been prepared for the victims. The court then adjourned the hearing of Esa Goth case till May 25.