KARACHI, Feb 2: The Sindh High Court has issued notices to the defence ministry and top navy officials, including chief of the Naval Intelligence, in a petition of a contractor against harassment and extortion.
A division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar on Friday also issued a notice to the federal law officer and put off the hearing to Feb 14.
Petitioner Qazi Syed Jamil Uddin, a meat contractor, impleaded the Pakistan Navy through the chief of the naval staff, commander logistics, Islamabad, the director-general of the Naval Intelligence and president of the board of inquiry at PNS Bahadur, Karachi, as respondents.
The petitioner, represented by Advocate Muhammad Javed Khalid, stated that the officials of the Naval Intelligence called him to their office on Sept 27, 2012 on the pretext of renewal of his registration with the navy as a contractor and illegally detained him.
He said the intelligence officials released him after they received Rs5 million from him.
The petitioner submitted in his petition that he arranged Rs600,000 through his friend, Usman, during his nine-day captivity and later on Sept 30, 2012 the navy officials including Farrukh, took him to his bank and withdrew Rs1.1 million from his account.
They, he said, also arranged to get a cheque for Rs4.415 million which was due to him for the supply of different commodities from the naval account office, deposited in his account at the MCB Saddar branch and withdrew Rs3.3 million on Oct 10, 2012.
He alleged that the naval intelligence officials extorted Rs5 million from him and another Rs5 million for the release of his coordinator Hasnain, who was also kept in illegal custody by them.
The petitioner stated that the naval intelligence officials, including Lt-Commander Muhammed Mohsin, forced them to make Hasnain appear before them threatening him that they would block his bank guarantee lying with the Commander Logistic against the supply of meat.
He said that on Jan 12, 2013 he received a summons for appearance on Jan 15 before the board of inquiry ordered to be conducted by Pakistan Navy in respect of his dealing with the office of the Commander Logistic.
The petitioner stated that he sought the navy officials’ permission to bring his attorney with him to attend the proceedings of the board of inquiry, but was plainly refused.
He stated that he had received repeated notices for appearance before the board of inquiry, but the naval authorities did not allow him to bring his lawyers with him.
The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the board of inquiry to conduct and open an inquiry into the matter and allow him to record his statement in the presence of his lawyer.
He also prayed to the court to restrain the DG of the Naval Intelligence and his sub-ordinates from arresting and detaining him without the process of law.
Comments sought on hydrants The Sindh High Court has directed the local government secretary, the managing director and the chief engineer of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, the city police chief and others to file their respective comments on the operation of hydrants in the city.
A division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar was on Friday seized with a petition of the Karachi Water Tanker Owner Welfare Association who prayed to the court to direct the KWSB to issue licences/permits to the operators of 11 subsoil water hydrants.
They also prayed to the court to direct the respondent police officials not to harass the association members involved in the business of water hydrants.
The petitioners, represented by Advocate Tariq Hussain, submitted that a meeting was held at the KWSB on March 13, 2012 to deliberate upon the operation of the subsoil water supply to industries.
They pointed out that the meeting had decided to offer permits/licences to the hydrant operators who were allowed to carry out their business until such arrangements were made.
The petitioners submitted that the water utility had also issued a letter to police authorities, the Karachi commissioner and other concerned not to restrict or disturb the groundwater tankers plying in the city.
They said that later the hydrant operators moved their respective applications for grant of permits for the supply of subsoil water through tankers to industries, but no decision had so far been taken on their requests.
The petitioners also prayed to the court to restrain the DIGs of East, West and South zones and their subordinate officials from stopping the operation of non-drinking subsoil water hydrants.