KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday inaugurated a treatment plant set up under the Greater Karachi Sewerage Plan, commonly known as S-III, in Mauripur and reiterated that the judiciary would take steps to protect the fundamental rights of the people guaranteed in the Constitution.
He appreciated the efforts of retired Justice Amir Hani Muslim, the head of the Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh, and said the nation and the apex court were proud of him for his services.
The CJP said that he had witnessed an improvement in sanitation condition of Karachi during the past six months.
He added that it was unprecedented that the treatment plant project was completed in a very short time.
Maintaining that water reservoirs were essential for future generations, the CJP said he had visited Gilgit-Baltistan, where people were very happy about the Diamer-Bhasha dam project.
Sindh chief secretary Azam Suleman Khan said that the S-III project was aimed at improving environmental and sanitation condition through a well-integrated system.
NAB told to hold a probe into PIA chief’s appointment
He said the treatment plant had been upgraded from 54mgd to 77mgd and its capacity would be enhanced to 180mgd after completion of the phase-II, which would be completed in December next year.
Retired Justice Muslim, the Sindh High Court chief justice and other judges of the superior judiciary also attended the ceremony.
Illegal occupation of govt houses
A large number of retired government employees and their families gathered outside the Supreme Court on Sunday morning in protest over their ejectment from their residential facilities in Karachi.
The chief justice called them into the courtroom and after hearing them directed the federal and provincial authorities to file comments and record within two weeks.
However, the CJP made it clear that he would not entertain those applications in which the applicants were not entitled to accommodations, adding that illegal occupation of government residential facilities would not be allowed.
An official of the housing ministry informed the court that the applicants were either retired employees or their heirs and no longer had entitlement to accommodation.
Last week, the Sindh High Court had also dismissed over 30 petitions seeking determination of whether the occupancy of Martin Quarters and other government residential facilities was sanctioned under the law.
Report on encroachment sought
The CJP expressed dissatisfaction on the Federal Investigation Agency for not completing a probe into illegal encroachments on an amenity plot and sought a report within two weeks.
Last month, the apex court had ordered the FIA to conduct a probe into encroachments on a public park in Al-Habib Cooperative Housing Society in KDA Scheme 33.
However, nobody from the FIA was in attendance during Sunday’s hearing and the CJP directed the agency to explain why the investigation had not been completed.
He sought an inquiry report within 15 days.
At the last hearing, over a dozen people, including women, had informed the bench that society’s secretary Athar Alam with other office-bearers encroached upon the park, illegally converted it into residential plots in 2011 and sold them to people.
PIA chief told to pay passengers’ fare from his own pocket
Expressing serious resentment over the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) over an unauthorised tour of Nanga Parbat, the CJP directed the national flag carrier’s chief executive officer to deposit the fare of passengers within three days.
He also directed the National Accountability Bureau to conduct an inquiry into the appointment of CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan as well as his salary and other monetary benefits.
While heading a three-judge special bench of the apex court, the chief justice also issued a contempt of court notice to the PIA CEO for not complying with an earlier order barring PIA from replacing the Pakistani flag at the tail of its aircraft with the picture of the markhor, the national animal of Pakistan.
The bench also took notice of the high fares of the PIA for northern areas and issued notices to other airlines asking them whether they were willing to start operations in these areas.
At the outset, the PIA CEO informed the bench that there were 112 persons on board the PIA flight to Nanga Parbat on July 16, including 42 guests, 17 from the corporate sector, 15 media persons and four famous celebrities.
When the chief justice asked him if these passengers had purchased tickets, the PIA chief replied in the negative and said that the marketing section had arranged that flight for business promotion of the airline.
The CJP asked him who had authorised them to arrange a free tour/visit and whether these passengers were entitled to such a visit.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the report, the chief justice directed him to pay the fare of the passengers from his own pocket within three days.
The CJP also came hard on the PIA chief over non-payment of salaries to the staff and asked him about his own pay. The CEO said that his salary was Rs1.4 million.
Final report on illegal organ transplantation filed
Dr Adib Rzivi, one of the members of a coordination committee set up by the apex court to prepare recommendations to check the illegal organ transplantations, submitted the committee’s final report and requested the court to ensure its implementation.
The chief justice said that the court would pass an order in this regard, but since Advocate Munir A. Malik, also part of the coordination committee, was on general adjournment the matter would be taken up again in his presence in the second week of August.
The Supreme Court had taken a suo motu notice last year over illegal transplantation of organs and sought recommendations to check the illegal practice.
Meanwhile, the water and power development authority and Sindh irrigation department submitted reports about measures taken to control pollution level in Manchar Lake, the largest freshwater reservoir of Pakistan.
The chief justice observed that since the water commission was already working on this issue and some improvements have also been made, the matter was referred to the commission.
The apex court had in 2010 taken a notice of rising contamination of the lake because of disposal of effluent from main Nara Valley drain, now converted into the Right Bank Outfall Drain.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2018