SC issues contempt notice to Sindh CM in Karachi Circular Railway case

Published November 26, 2020
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah speaking at a press conference on April 15. — DawnNewsTV/FIle
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah speaking at a press conference on April 15. — DawnNewsTV/FIle

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a contempt notice to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah over the provincial government's failure to approve the design of development work for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench comprising the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar had taken up a suo motu case relating to the colossal losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways (PR).

During the hearing today, the chief justice remarked that work on the KCR project was supposed to be wrapped up within two months. "Just the overhead bridge and some other work remains [to be completed]," he observed. "Why has the FWO [Frontier Works Organisation] not begun its work?"

The FWO director general, who was asked to appear in court during the previous hearing, replied that the Sindh government had not yet awarded the contract for the underpass. The director general said that the FWO had sent the design to the provincial government which had not yet approved it.

Issuing a contempt notice to the Sindh chief minister for failing to comply with the court's orders, the apex court directed him to submit a response at the next hearing in two weeks.

At the previous hearing, the SC had initiated contempt of court proceedings against Rail­ways Secretary Habibur Rehman Gillani and Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah for an apparent delay in the completion of the KCR project.

Justice Ahmed had cautioned that things would not stop here, rather the court would call everybody, even Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Sindh chief minister, if needed.

The chief justice had observed that the court was issuing contempt notices since, even though time was provided to make the KCR project functional, Pakistan Railways failed to adhere to the time frame granted to it.

Apparently, it seemed that PR was deliberately delaying the KCR project and neither the railways nor the Sindh government were implementing the court's directions, the chief justice had said.

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