KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday dismissed an application filed by a traders’ organisation against its earlier order to end a food street from Burns Road and open the thoroughfare for vehicular traffic.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi observed that the application was totally misconceived and baseless.

On Feb 22, the same bench had declared illegal the notifications through which a food street was set up and a portion of Burns Road was closed during evenings. The bench directed the local administration to clear the Burns Road and six adjacent thoroughfares/streets for traffic.

However, the president of the Burns Road Food Street Tajir Association filed an application alleging that the petitioners got the order in question by concealing facts and through misrepresentation.

Traders’ association challenged SHC’s earlier order regarding opening of key road for traffic

His counsel argued that the applicant was never heard in such petitions and the official respondents pursuant to such order had discontinued the business activity from Burns Road.

The bench in its order stated that when it confronted to the point of alleged misrepresentation or fraud by the petitioners to obtain such an order, the lawyer for the applicant could not refer to any such misrepresentation or fraud.

However, the counsel submitted that a number of employees of the applicant and other owners of eateries on the said food street were affected as the officials respondents were creating hindrance in the name of a court order.

“In view of above facts and the legal position as emerged in these petitions, listed application(s) are totally misconceived and baseless and liable to be dismissed with cost as none of the ingredients of section 12(2) of CPC are attracted in the instant case,” the bench ruled.

However, the lawyer for applicant submitted that he would not press the application and approach appropriate forum for seeking redressal of his client’s grievances against misuse of authority by official respondents.

Accordingly, the bench said that the application was dismissed as not pressed.

It further stated that the applicant may be at liberty to file appropriate proceedings before relevant forum, but clarified that any action taken by official respondents pursuant to the court order must not be the subject matter of such proceedings.

Some area residents had petitioned the SHC in February 2021 stating that they and other residents had been facing extreme difficulties due to the decision of the district administration to block the thoroughfare between 7pm and 2am for the food street.

They argued that people were facing hardship as the diversion of traffic to narrow lanes in the Burns Road area causing inconvenience and restricting their free movement.

The petitioners sought a directive for the district administration to withdraw the notification with regard to the closure of roads so that the residents and other people were not denied access.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2023

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