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Pro-KBD petitions dismissed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking construction of Kalabagh Dam and declared them inadmissible. Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading a three-member bench, was hearing the petition of Feroz Shah Gillani. He had cited experts' reports that no province will be harmed after construction of the dam and urged the court to issue directions for immediate construction of Kalabagh Dam.

During proceedings, Additional Advocate General Sindh sought time to file a reply. However, the chief justice turned down his request and stated the court would first hear the petitioners. A K Dogar, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, argued that the Lahore High Court had passed a judgement in favour of Kalabagh Dam and that decision still holds the field. He underscored the need for implementation of that judgement.

The Chief Justice remarked that judgment has not been challenged before this court therefore he should approach the Lahore High Court for implementation. A K Dogar said he had approached the LHC for implementation of its judgment but the court did not pass appropriate order and LHC judge hearing his application passed remarks which he could not reproduce in an open court. The CJP asked him to pursue his application before the High Court. The petitioner's counsel objected and requested the court to allow him to argue on merits of the case.

After a permission was granted, the counsel contended that it was the federation's responsibility to develop consensus among the provinces in a CCI meeting, and requested the court to direct the government to summon a CCI meeting and develop consensus among provinces on the construction of Kalabagh Dam.

A K Dogar argued that non-availability of water and floods adding to the miseries of people. He stated it was the responsibility of the apex court to protect the fundamental rights of citizens and pass judgements in that regard. The counsel said in the coming years the Pakistan may face severe water shortage. The courts are for litigants and without them there were no need of courts. A court which could not pass orders for the benefit of general public should be shut down.

Towards the end of proceedings, A K Dogar requested the court to issue notice to other petitioners, who might be able to convince the court. However, the chief justice dismissed his petitions and said that they also dismiss other petitions for non-prosecution.

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