KARACHI - The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday sought explanation from Iqbal Kazmi, a petitioner seeking contempt of court proceedings against K-Electric authorities.  A two-judge bench consisting of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Agha Faisal was hearing a petition filed by Iqbal Kazmi seeking contempt of court proceedings against higher authorities of K-Electric for their failure to comply with the court orders and end unannounced loadshedding.

Responding to the court query about his absence from hearings, Kazmi said he was abducted by unidentified people and kept at an undisclosed location for many days. Thus, he said, he could not appear before the court. The court asked him to produce legal documents to prove what he said.

Earlier, the court had issued a notice to K-Electric Chief Executive Officer Tayyab Tareen on the contempt of court application. Petitioner Iqbal Kazmi submitted that eight to 12-hour unannounced loadshedding was causing extreme inconvenience to residents of the city. He said that Karachi residents were suffering from long hours of outages, as K-Electric and the Sui Southern Gas Company were engaged in a war of words over reduced supply of gas to the electricity provider, which affected supply of electricity to consumers. Kazmi, in his petition, stated that the power supply company was bound to advertise a loadshedding schedule in newspapers. He pointed out that there had been numerous court decisions on the issue of unannounced loadshedding and that the Supreme Court had directed K-Electric to end unannounced loadshedding. Despite the court orders, he said, the power supply company was not taking steps to improve its performance. Therefore, he said, there should be contempt proceedings against Tareen and others responsible.

Court moved to disqualify home minister

A petition was moved to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday, seeking disqualification of Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal for holding iqama (work permit) of UAE.

Allah Bakhsh Unnar, nephew of former minister Altaf Unnar, moved the petition, submitting that Sohail Anwar Siyal holds iqama of UAE and he did not mention this while filing his nomination papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan. He pleaded to the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to disqualify the minister and stop him from contesting the general elections in 2018.

The petitioner submitted that the provincial minister Sohail Anwar Siyal has been working as a ‘sales consultant’ at a company in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. A copy of Siyal’s iqama was also attached with the petition. He added that the work permit was issued on April 6, 2014. Siyal was elected member of the Sindh Assembly from Larkana. He is currently serving as home minister in the Sindh Cabinet.  The court was also asked to restrain iqama holder politicians from contesting elections in Pakistan. Making establishment, law, parliamentary affairs, Prime Minister’s Secretariat and ECP secretaries and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) director general respondents in the case, the petitioner prayed to the court to disqualify all politicians holding dual nationality or iqama of any other country from taking part or contesting general elections.

Alvi acquitted

in protest case

The judicial magistrate (south) on Tuesday acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Arif Alvi and others in a case relating to a protest at the Cantonment Board Office in Clifton in April this year.  In its judgement, the court stated that the allegations levelled against the accused were not proved by the prosecution.

Darakhshan Police on April 8 had registered an FIR against Alvi and six others who led protest demonstrations at the CBC office over the locality’s persisting water supply issues. The FIR was registered against CBC elected members Mohammed Aslam Khaliq, Mohammed Ahmad and Adeeba Hassan and PTI leaders Dr Arif Alvi, Samar Ali Khan, Dr Seema Zia and Khurram Sherzaman.

A CBC official had filed a complaint against them for “deliberately breaking glass door of the [CBC] office and storming into the building” when they gathered at the board office with residents of the locality. It is submitted that the office of the Cantonment Board in Clifton was a public office and remains open for general public during office hours on working days.