The Supreme Court has been moved with a plea seeking larger bench formation to revisit its verdict under which directives were issued to demolish Gujjar and Orangi nullahs in Karachi.
Earlier, on June 14, heading a three-member bench the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed had dismissed application filed by some people affected during the anti-encroachment operation around Gujjar and Orangi Town nullahs and directed the authorities to continue the operation.
Seeking a review of the Supreme Court over June 14 order, counsel for the petitioner Advocate Faisal Siddiqi requested for the constitution of a larger bench to hear the review petition.
He submitted that it was ordered that the government of Sindh, NDMA [National Disaster Management Authority] and the Administrator Karachi are to ensure that all lands of both Gujjar Nullah and Orangi Nullah and the right of way are cleared. He further said that the drive aims to clear the nullahs as well as construct a 30-feet wide road on both sides.
“Therefore, the consequence of the impugned order was a continuing demolition of thousands of houses/buildings/structures and dispossession of over 50,000 people, without any immediate substantive compensation or temporary rehabilitation,” the counsel said.
It is pertinent to mention that earlier, scores of children affected by the drive staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club, appealing to the court to uphold the stay order issued by the Sindh High Court against demolitions.
Holding placards and shouting slogans, the children decried the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Karachi’s Central district with several families displaced.
Civil society groups claim that the anti-encroachment drives have already rendered a large number of children homeless. They argue that some 21,000 children will be displaced if all the marked houses along the nullahs are demolished.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org