SHC issues notice to KMC, SITE on contempt application

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday issued notice to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administrator and SITE chairman for disobeying its order that had restrained KMC and other entities from carrying out developmental work at the places where underground phone cables are laid.

Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, who headed a division bench of SHC, once again directed KMC, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Site and other entities to carry out any developmental work at any place where PTCL’s underground infrastructure is laid after intimating PTCL authorities so phone cables could be protected from any damage.

Advocate Haider Waheed, representing PTCL filed the contempt application, contending that despite the court’s order KMC and SITE have commenced the construction work in their respective jurisdictions in violation of the orders, causing damage to underground phone cables.

He told the judges that KMC was carrying out construction work on flyover near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s Shrine in Clifton area without informing the PTCL authorities. He said that SITE had also violated the court order.

He requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against KMC administrator and Site Chairman. After hearing arguments of counsel for the petitioner, the bench issued notice to KMC administrator and SITE chairman to file reply in response to contempt application.

PTCL had filed a petition seeking court directives to respondents – KMC, KWSB, SSGC, and OGRA for taking all possible measures to ensure that underground phone cables are not damaged during work at various places in the city.

Haider Waheed had submitted that respondents dig up the places and roads for various purposes, including developmental projects causing damage to the telephone cables including optic cable laid by PTCL throughout the province. He said that illegal act of respondents not only caused financial loss to PTCL in shape of repair and restoration of damaged cables but its customers also suffered.

Haider said that according to Section 19-A of Telegraph Act 1885, respondents are required to issue notice to PTCL before commencing any work at the places where phone cable are laid so that necessary measures could be taken to protect the phone cables.

The bench had directed respondent entities to follow the procedure before commencing any such work at the places where phone lines are laid. It also issued notice to the respondents to submit comments in response to petition.

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