SC dismisses pleas against anti-encroachment drive, approves demolitions along Orangi, Gujjar nullahs

Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) dismissed pleas against anti-encroachment drive in Karachi, and gave its go ahead for demolition of illegal constructions along Gujjar and Orangi nullahs.

During the hearing at SC Karachi Registry on Monday (today), the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, revoked the stay order against ongoing anti-encroachment drive in Karachi, directing authorities to continue demolishing illegal constructions along Gujjar and Orangi nullahs.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), apprised the court that it is cooperating with National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) to clear illegal encroachment along Gujjar and Orangi drains.

Meanwhile, Faisal Siddiqu – the defence counsel of the affectees of anti-encroachment drive whose houses are situated along Gujjar and Orangi nullahs, argued that these constructions were in fact leased by government departments most notably KDA and KMC.

Advocate General Sindh also attended the hearing and highlighted that the houses along these drains were illegally leased by different government departments over the years.

All the lease documents are fake; encroachments will have to be removed in any case,   remarked   CJP Gulzar Ahmed.

The government will provide Rs 20,000 per month to the affectees of anti-encroachment operations for rent, he added.

The SC also rejected affectees’ appeal for compensation contending that it cannot provide relief for those who’re illegally occupying state’s land.

It is pertinent to know that Sindh government along with local administration had started anti-encroachment drive following disastrous urban flooding due to illegal constructions along several storm drains and nullahs in Karahci, most notably Gujjar, Orangi and Mehmoodabad nullahs.