SHC issues notice to Malik Riaz on contempt of court application

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notice to Malik Riaz Hussain, Chief Executive Bahria Town on contempt of court application for flouting the court’s injunction, staying work on a flyover, being built near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Clifton area.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, who headed a single bench of SHC, was seized with the contempt of court application filed by Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority, who requested the court to initiate contempt of court application against Bahria Town CEO for disobeying the court orders.

In the contempt of court application, it was stated that Bahria town was carrying out construction work on the flyover despite the restraining order issued by SHC on April 2 and had launched a verification campaign in order to malign the respectable institution and persons.

SHC bench had given this interim order on lawsuit filed by Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority seeking injunction against the project allegedly being built without complying with the mandatory requirements of environmental protection laws and approval from authorities concerned.

Advocate Malik Naeem Iqbal, representing the plaintiff, stated before the judge that Bahria Town had launched the project titled “Bahria Town Icon Tower” near Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton. It had also undertaken a project “Grade Separated Improvement Plan” from Park Tower Intersection to A T Naqvi Roundabout, which included the construction of a flyover in front of Park Towers in Clifton area and the underpasses near Kothari Parade, as part of Bahria Town Icon Tower project.

He said that the project involved major construction work to be carried out along the relevant roads, which were major arteries of the DHA and Clifton areas and its cost runs into billions of rupees. According to Section 12 of Pakistan Environment Act 1997, no such project could be undertaken without an assessment of its impact on the environment, he added.

The court was also prayed to restrain SBCA and Bahria Town from carrying out construction work on the project.

Meanwhile, another division bench of SHC headed by Justice Irfan Saddat Khan issued notice to local government secretary, KMC administrator, provincial police chief and SHO of Boat Basin police station on a petition of Prime Management Private Limited, a management company responsible for managing affairs of Pak Towers in Clifton, and shopkeepers.

They said that the authorities had announced a traffic diversion plan on March 12 informing that the detour to be taken for approaching Pak Towers both coming from the side of Do Talwar as well as from Bilawal Chowrangi. He said that authorities concerned instead of adhering to their own diversion plan have implemented a different plan which was causing a great deal of hardship for the visitors as well as commuters.

The petitioners said that the commencement of construction and excavation along the main entrance of Park Towers for flyover on Shahrah-i-Iran without notice to them and without looking its possible impact on their business and environment was great concern to them.

They requested the court to direct respondents to follow the diversion plan.

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