Supreme Court issues interim order in Karachi unrest case
By: Asghar Azad
KARACHI: The Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry on Tuesday issued the second interim order in the Karachi unrest case, and barred the Sindh government from mutation, allotment, transfer and conversion of any state land, and transaction or entry in the ‘record of rights’ until the entire revenue record is reconstructed.
The Supreme Court directed the Sindh Rangers to improve its evolution for betterment in law and order situation in Karachi. The order was written by a five-member bench of the SC, comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Gulzar Ahmed, after hearing arguments and submission of reports by the Sindh government and law enforcement agencies during the hearing of Karachi unrest case.
The order comprised 10 pages and was issued by the SC Karachi Registry. The court further said in the order that several orders were issued by the Sindh High Court pertaining to the revenue records’ mutation, transfer, to keep transaction or entries in ‘record of rights’, while the SHC had also given guidelines under the law to the government of Sindh and its relevant authority – the Revenue Department.
The court said land grabbing, mutation and conversion were the major reason of poor law and order situation in Karachi. The SC in its directions to the Board of Revenue (BoR) said that the board was misusing its authority and has allowed transaction relating to transfer of state land which, prima facie, has caused huge financial losses to the national exchequer, and encouraged land grabbing, one of the basic reason for poor land order situation. The court said the Sindh government cannot any change in revenue record, extend lease of 30 years into 99 years until the revenue record is reconstructed.
“The court order restrains the government/Revenue Department from mutation, allotment, transfer, conversation of any state land, keeping any transaction or any entry in the record of rights in this regard of revenue record of Sindh until the entire revenue record in Sindh is reconstructed,” the court order read. The court also barred extension of 30-year lease into 99 years, saying this way the state land was being sold at throwaway prices without participation of public at large.
The Supreme Court said the Sindh chief secretary will complete the process of reconstruction of the revenue record of entire Sindh under his supervision and he will submit a report to the court in this regard within three months. The chief secretary will also submit a complete record, including a list of those persons who have been allotted, got mutated or converted a lease from 30 years to 90 years’ lease.