'Ministers and lawmakers have occupied state land' in Sindh, remarks CJP

January 28, 2020

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The top court was hearing a case pertaining to  deforestation and leasing out of state-owned land to private developers. — Dawn/File
The top court was hearing a case pertaining to deforestation and leasing out of state-owned land to private developers. — Dawn/File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Sindh authorities to cancel the illegal allotment of land belonging to the provincial forest department in a case pertaining to deforestation and leasing out of state-owned land to private developers.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, who headed the three-member bench hearing the case in Islamabad, lamented that "ministers and lawmakers have occupied state land in Sukkur".

The chief justice said that the forest department's employees were also complicit in the practice of land grabbing and illegal allotment.

He asked if Bahria Town Karachi was also being built on illegally occupied land. The legal counsel of the petitioner responded in the affirmative and said that the housing society has been built on 3,134 acres.

"The Sindh government has turned a blind eye [towards the land grabbing]," he said, adding: "Why don't we summon the Sindh chief minister?"

The chief justice told the Sindh Forest Department to withdraw the land which was illegally allotted and submit a report, along with satellite images, in the Supreme Court. The hearing was adjourned for two months.