KARACHI: A district and sessions court has extended till Jan 22 the interim pre-arrest bail of the owner of Nasla Tower and former administrator of the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) in a case pertaining to encroachment upon a service lane for construction of the multi-storey plaza.

Currently, the 15-storey commercial-cum-residential building is being demolished on the directives of the Supreme Court.

Abdul Qadir; the owner of Nasla Tower, and Muhammad Wilayat Ali Data and former administrator of SMCHS along with key officers of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), director and deputy director of the master plan department and their subordinates have been booked for illegally constructing Nasla Tower by occupying 341 square yards of a service lane.

Mr Qadir and Mr Data were granted the interim pre-arrest bail by District and Sessions Judge (East) Khalid Hussain Shahani on Dec 30 and Jan 6, respectively.

The court took up their interim bail for confirmation or otherwise but the investigating officer of the case was called absent.

Defence counsel Abdul Majeed Khoso submitted that his client, Abdul Qadir, was ill and could not appear in court. He requested the judge to condone the absence of his client for the day.

In the bail plea, the counsel argued that Mr Qadir had purchased Plot No. A-193 in SMCHS in 2015 from one Muzzammil.

He added that earlier around 77 square yards of the plot was acquired by the then city district government Karachi for the construction of a flyover on Sharea Faisal in 2004.

He added that in return the city government had provided 240 square yards to the housing society, which subsequently got the same regularised under the relevant laws.

He maintained that all the relevant civic agencies and utilities had granted approval to the construction of the high-rise building in question. The Civil Aviation Authority and the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency had also approved the Nasal Tower project, he added.

The counsel further maintained that all such approvals and no-objection certificates in the respect of the subject project were issued from 2007 to 2013, adding that Abdul Qadir did not know that the land in question was in any grey list at the time of its purchase.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022

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