KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday rejected a report submitted by a senior member of the Board of Revenue (BoR) on retrieval of state land in Sindh, telling him that half of Karachi has been illegally occupied.
A three-judge bench headed by Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed heard a case related to the digitisation of government land records in Sindh. According to the report, the BoR report claimed that encroachment on 70 percent of land across Sindh had been retrieved.
During the hearing, the chief justice directed BoR senior member Shamsuddin Soomro to end the occupation on all government land in the province with “visible action” and submit a report in 30 days.
The chief justice scolded the BoR senior member for presenting a defective and unsatisfactory report, telling him to “stop feeding us lies and stories.” Justice Gulzar reprimanded the BoR representative, stating that more than half of Sindh’s land is illegally occupied.
Angered at the pictures attached in the report submitted by the BoR, Justice Gulzar said, “Give this lollipop to someone else, not us.” “If you do not follow the court’s orders, you can be jailed for contempt of court,” Chief Justice Gulzar warned.
Meanwhile, Justice Aijaz ul Ahsan questioned the revenue board member about encroachments in Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Larkana. Speaking about Karachi, Justice Aijaz stated that it was a significant concern because nine encroachment cases alone relating to the city have been filed already.
Justice Qazi Ameen, who was also part of the bench hearing the case, reminded the senior member of the BOR that he is an employee of the government, and not of a private individual.
Slamming the revenue board official, Justice Gulzar said not a single structure on the encroached land has been demolished by authorities. He lamented that forged papers are issued and illegal structures have been constructed on the city’s University Road, the Super Highway, areas near the airport, and Malir.
He ordered the BOR’s senior member to reclaim illegally occupied government land from the occupiers and provide a report within one month. “Go, do your job and inform the court about the number of illegal structures you have demolished in future hearings,” directed the chief justice.