HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Sindh High Court, Hyderabad circuit, here on Friday issued notices to the senior member Board of Revenue, Sindh chief secretary, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas commissioners, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sanghar deputy commissioners and others for June 18 on a constitutional petition filed by five lawmakers against creation of Shaheed Benazirabad division.
The bench comprised Justice Nisar Mohammad Shaikh and Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro.
Five Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) members of the Sindh Assembly Jam Madad Ali, Waryam Faqir Waryamani, Saeed Khan Nizamani, Haji Khuda Bukhsh Rajar and Nand Kumar, stated in the petition that Sindh government was authorised under sections 5 and 6 of the Land Revenue Act, 1967, to notify new districts and divisions and define their boundaries but these powers must be exercised fairly, reasonably and in good faith.
They alleged that the June 6, 2014 notification creating new division of Shaheed Benazirabad, comprising districts of Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar and Naushahro Feroze, with its headquarter at Nawabshah was issued with mala fide intention. Its creation has nothing to do with administrative convenience or ease of revenue collections, they claimed.
“It is done to enhance standing of Nawabshah and confer upon it status of divisional headquarter which will provide a direct financial benefit to politically influential landowners of Nawabshah,” the petitioners alleged, adding that “this is done clandestinely without a public discussion and without consulting elected representatives of the affected areas.”
They submitted that Sanghar was an under-developed area and was prone to floods and drought. “Its Khipro desert is inaccessible,” they said, and cited observations of government and relief organisation that provision of food, water and medical aid to far flung areas of Sanghar from Mirpurkhas was difficult.
The petitioners argued that in the midst of relief work and calamity, the respondents had taken an administrative decision which would impede relief operation.
They said that Sanghar’s inclusion in the new division was unreasonable and against public interest. It would be difficult to administer and supervise its remote areas from Nawabshah, they added.
They claimed that the respondents were creating Shaheed Benazirabad division to accommodate their home constituency and establish a headquarter there at the expense of other districts.
They prayed to the court to declare the June 6, 2014 notification unlawful and mala fide and suspend its operation.
They also urged the court to restrain the respondents from removing Sanghar district from Mirpurkhas division.
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2014