While taking cognizance over extraction granite from Karoonjhar Mountain Ranges, civil judge of Nagarparkar has directed local police to stop stone transportation from the Ranges without fear and favour observing that cutting the Karoonjhar means killing the hen who lays not golden but diamond eggs.
The Range is a beautiful tourist place in the Nagarparkar area in Sindh’s Tharparkar district. A rocky area surrounded by sand dunes on three sides, it is spread over 30 square kilometers, at an average altitude of 1,000 feet. During last year, Sindh Minister for Mines and Minerals Shabbir Ali Bijarani told the media that the Karoonjhar Mountains Range holds 26 billion tonnes of granite, china clay and precious stones of various colours and types.
Authoring a 9-page order (copy available with TLTP) court of the Civil Judge & Judicial Magistrate of Tehsil Nagarparkar Karam Ali Shah took the decision in the matter after news publication in print media regarding granite extraction from Karoonjhar Mountain Ranges.
Adjudicating a Criminal Miscellaneous Application the other day in the matter, the Judge issued conditional order terming extraction of granite form the Ranges as public nuisance, the court said it is fully satisfied to entertain the act of nuisance in the structure of Section 133 of Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) and bring it on regular hearing as matter of public nuisance and issue below mentioned direction to all respondents respectively.
There are 15 respondents in the case including Regional Managers of M/S Kohinoor Marble Industries of Karachi, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Nagarparkar, Mukhtiarkar (Revenue), Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) Nagarparkar, Deputy Commissioner Tharparkar at Mithi, Assistant Director Mines & Minerals, Tharparkar, Deputy Conservator Wildlife, Tharparkar, Mithi, Deputy Director Live Stock, Tharparkar at Mithi, Assistant Director, Culture, Tourism and Antiquate Department, Tharparkar at Mithi, Sub-Divisional Forest Officer, Tharparkar at Mithi and Assistant Director, Environment and Climate Change Tharparkar.
Granting time till January 06,2022 in the matter, the Judge sought comprehensive report in the matter from people at the helm of affairs of Tharparkar’ district departments including revenue, mines & minerals, wildlife, livestock, culture, tourism and antiquate, forest, environment and climate change. The Judge, Karam Ali Shah, asked them to furnish the report after consultation with their high-ups.
Besides, the Judge directed Station House Officers (SHOs) of Nagarparkar and Dandodhandal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Tharparkar to get compliance of the court order from Regional Managers of M/S Kohinoor Marble Industries of Karachi and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Nagarparkar.
The Judge also issued directives to the police officials to dis-allow all heavy vehicles who are carrying stone being cut from Karoonjhar Mountains saying, “Let be unloaded those vehicles forthwith with future warning of legal disobedience, SSP Tharparkar is further directed to circulate this order to all police stations of this district for disallowing the heavy vehicles from carrying the stone being taken away from Karoonjhar Mountain Ranges”.
The court order said, “Wing Commander 36- Rangers Wing, Nagarparkar is obliged to issue instruction to your under-controlled established check-post in Taluka Nagarparkar to dis-allow all heavy vehicles who are carrying stone being cut from Karoonjhar mountains and let be unloaded forthwith with future warning of legal disobedience”.
According to court order, Regional Managers of the M/S Kohinoor Marble Industries of Karachi and FWO Nagarparkar claimed publicly that legally they are entitled for cutting and lifting the stone from Karoonjhar Mountain Ranges but failed to disclose the lease agreement, survey reports, boundaries or any other document including its terms and conditions.
“Besides, you do not bother to reveal the NOCs taken from Environmental Protection Agencies, wild life department, Forest Department, Culture & Tourism Department and Defense Ministry of the Pakistan which are mandatory pre-requisite before starting the work if one is legally allowed and even you are realizing the responsibility of post-requisite mention in whole Sindh Mining Concession Rules 2002 and in other relevant laws”, the court order said.
Announcing the order in open court, the Judge said, “ In case, you Respondents No.1 & 2 ( Regional Managers of M/S Kohinoor Marble Industries of Karachi and FWO Nagarparkar) have any objection, you may appear in this Court within 10 days till 6.01.2022 to record your objection or claim jury within receipt of this order, failing which the order shall become absolute hence order is announced accordingly”.
It is pertinent to mention that during adjudication of a plea against illegal excavation of precious stones from Karoonjhar hills of Nagarparkar in Karachi Registry five days ago, a bench of the top court’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was apprised that a massive excavation of Karoonjhar Hills has been underway to extract precious stones from the hills. Responding to the Chief Justice query, the petitioner submitted that the Mines and Minerals Department was cutting the hills.
Earlier, the Sindh High Court (SHC) in November 2019 stayed excavation of stone in Karoonjhar hills of Nagarparkar while issuing notices to the federal secretary of natural resources, secretary of forest and wildlife, FWO, secretary of mines and minerals and different marble companies as respondents.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at email@example.com