KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down hard on the Board of Revenue (BoR) of Sindh for its slow pace viz-a-viz computerizing the land record of the province.
At the Karachi Registry, a three-member bench of the SC, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, took up the case related to computerizing the land record and admonished the relevant officials for not completing the task.
Justice Ijazul Hassan said that the department had asked for two months’ time, but years had gone by, and the department could not yet computerize the land record.
A senior member of the Board of Revenue told the court that except for Thatta district, all the records had been computerized.
Justice Ijazul Hassan said that the last time the board had asked for some extra time, it was in 2018.
He asked why Thatta’s record could not be computerized as yet?
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that since the record was not computerized, it caused several disputes.
The revenue department bungles in the allotment of land, and it keeps allotting one person’s land to another, he remarked.
Expressing annoyance over the slow pace of the board of revenue, the Chief Justice termed it the “most corrupt department”.
He said that illegal occupation of land was going on because of this department.
The Chief Justice asked how long would it take to complete the land survey in Karachi.
On this, the member board of revenue told the court that the department would complete its survey in six months’ time.
Justice Ijazul Hassan said the department did not have any master plan for Karachi.
He said since 1940, no master plan had been designed for the mega-city.
The Chief Justice said that illegal occupation even on the amenity plots was going on.
He said buildings were being popped up in the Malir river (a seasonal river) area in Karachi and asked the board member to go to Korangi and see for himself how many buildings had already been built.
He told him that if his department people did not implement the SC orders, then he would be the first person to be removed from his office.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court bench ordered the authorities to immediately raze to the ground the 11-storey residential building Nasla Tower on Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Quaideen.
During the hearing at the Karachi Registry of the petitions against the encroachments in the mega-city, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, issued the orders for demolition of Nasla Tower.
Rejecting the pleas of the builder and the residents, the apex court declared the building illegal.
The Chief Justice said China cutting was being carried out in such a way in Karachi that people occupied more land than what they possessed.
Justice Ijazul Hassan said that the KMC report showed that some area was used illegally by Nasla Tower.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that the building had encroached upon the footpath.
Salah-ud-Din, the counsel for Nasla Tower, argued that the building was not constructed on the service road.
On this, the Chief Justice asked for the original plan of the tower.
Justice Ijaz said that originally the tower developer acquired 780 square land on lease. The rest of the land was not leased out, he added.
He asked the tower lawyer to see pictures which were showing that the building was sprawling to service road.
The counsel said that the service road was built on his client’s land. He said the KMC sold this land to the Sindhi Muslim Society, and the tower developer bought this land from the Sindhi Muslim Society.
The Chief Justice asked the lawyer to show the lease deed.
He said if the society sold you this piece of land, still this selling deed of service road was illegal.
Justice Ijaz said that the tower development illegally occupied 341 square yards area.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021