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SHC stays allotment of 21,000 forest acres for industries

SHC stays allotment of 21,000 forest acres for industries

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday restrained the provincial authorities from allotting over 21,000 acres of forest land in Sujawal and other districts for industrial purposes and from dispossessing the farmers from there.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Faisal Arab was hearing a petition of Basharat Ali and others, the farmers living on the forest land.

The petitioners, represented by Advocate Mureed Ali Shah, submitted that the provincial authorities had started dispossessing the farmers from the forest land, which was being given to an industrial group for commercial purposes.

Also read: Allotment of forest land to army opposed

Their counsel contended that the forest land could not be utilised for any commercial or industrial purpose under the law and its allotment to the industrial group was illegal.

He asked the court to restrain the authorities from dislocating the farmers from the forest land and from allotting it for commercial purposes.

Hearing adjourned

A division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar put off the hearing of a petition against the detention of Moazzam Ali Khan, a key suspect behind the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Imran Farooq.

The bench directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other respondent to submit their respective replies by the next date of hearing and put off the matter to July 30.

Moazzam’s wife, Sadia Bano, had challenged the detention of her husband by the Rangers through a constitutional petition.

According to the petitioner, personnel of the paramilitary force raided her house in Federal B Area’s Block 8, Azizabad, in the early hours of April 12 and took away her husband and his belongings, including a laptop.

The Rangers have already informed an antiterrorism court that Mr Khan was handed over to the FIA.

He was placed under 90-day preventive detention for interrogation under Section 11EEEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. He is believed to have been grilled by a two-member team of the Scotland Yard for allegedly helping two suspected killers of the MQM leader by arranging their visas, tickets and stay in Britain.

The two suspects — Khalid Shamim and Mohsin Ali — have also been shown arrested and are said to be in FIA custody.

Dr Farooq was on his way home from work when he was murdered on Sept 16, 2010 near his London home. A post-mortem examination found that he died from multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head.

Rangers DG, others told to file comments

A division bench directed the director general of Rangers, provincial police chief and other official respondents to file their respective comments in a petition seeking the whereabouts of a young man who was allegedly taken into custody by men in plain clothes.

The petition was filed by Muhammad Humair, who said that his younger brother, Muhammad Zubair, was picked up by the law-enforcers when he was on his way to Bahardurabad from their house within the remit of the Brigade police station.

He said that he approached the area police station to ascertain the whereabouts of his brother, but to no avail as the police officials feigned ignorance about the incident.

The petitioner said that he also contacted the officials of the paramilitary troops, but they also refused to give any details about the detainee.

He asked the court to direct the respondents to produce his brother in court.

The same bench directed the home department to submit the report of the joint investigation team formed to investigate the disappearance of a man.

The order came on the petition of Ms Shaisa against the detention of her husband, Shahzad Khan.

The petitioner, a resident of Orangi Town, said that the personnel of the law enforcement agencies raided her house on Jan 15 and took away her husband, an employee of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

The provincial government law officer informed the court that a JIT had been formed to investigate the disappearance of the petitioner’s husband. He sought time for filing the JIT report.

The bench adjourned the hearing to a date to be later announced by the court’s office.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2015

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