The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday approved a plea of the Sindh government seeking transfer of irrigation lands encroachment case to Karachi from Sukkur.
Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh granted the Sindh government’s plea and constituted a larger high court bench, comprised of Justice Iqbal Kalhoro, Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi and Justice Agha Faisal, to hear the case.
The Government of Sindh in its petition said that demolition of hundreds of thousands houses could create a human tragedy and pleaded for providing the people an alternate shelter before demolishing their homes.
“The high court’s Sukkur bench has ordered removal of encroachments from the irrigation lands on the banks of Indus river, while hundreds of thousands people have made their homes on the lands of the irrigation, forest and agriculture departments,” the government stated in its petition.
The high court’s order could affect the residents in Badin, Larkana, Hyderabad and other cities, according to the government’s plea.
“The government working on a plan to provide an alternate place to affected people,” Advocate General Sindh informed the court and sought transfer of the case to Karachi from Sukkur bench.
The government also sought formation of a larger bench to hear the public interest case.
The Chief Justice granted the government’s plea and constituted a larger bench, comprised of Justice Iqbal Kalhoro, Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi and Justice Agha Faisal, to hear the case.
Sindh High Court circuit bench Sukkur had on Tuesday ordered demolition of commercial buildings on the state land within 48 hours.
The bench expressed resentment over non-compliance of the court orders to remove encroachments from the land of the irrigation department.
The court questioned permissions granted for construction of buildings on the state land, and ordered arrest of the Assistant Director Building Control Authority Sukkur, Abdul Latif Jarwar.
Police arrested the building control official in the court premises, on the judicial orders.
The bench had ordered demolition of commercial structures built on the irrigation land in Sukkur on November 19.
Advocate General Sindh had pleaded the court to grant two-month time for the removal of illegal structures from the irrigation land.
The court, however, ordered to remove the commercial structure immediately and gave a month for removal of residential structures from the lands after proper arrangements for the affected people.