Court summons commissioner for not consulting retailers

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the Karachi commissioner to appear in person and explain whether he had followed the high court’s March 6, 2007 order with regard to the fixation of milk price and why he did not call the milk retailers to attend the meeting when the milk price was fixed.

The direction came on a petition seeking the implementation of court orders with regard to the sale of milk at the government’s notified rate. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha observed that the foundation of the SHC order in March 2007 had been forming a mechanism whereby the price of milk could be ascertained.

The bench observed that the commissioner had been directed to sit with all the stakeholders and sort out a formula for milk price and ensure that milk being sold in the city was of good quality.

An additional advocate general filed a compliance report regarding the fixation of fresh milk price. However, a counsel for the milk sellers submitted that his clients were not called in the meeting and they were not given opportunity to express their views on the fixation of milk price.

The SHC directed the commissioner to appear in person and explain whether he had followed the high court’s March 6, 2007 order with regard to the fixation of milk price and why he did not call the milk retailers to attend the meeting.

Petitioner Imran Shahzad had submitted in the application that the SHC had disposed of petitions with regard to the fixation of milk price in March 2018, following a settlement that was reached with the consent of all the stakeholders, according to which milk was to be sold at Rs94 per litre in the city.

He had maintained that the high court had directed the commissioner to issue a notification with regard to the milk price and ensure that milk was sold in the markets as per its notified price agreed by the stakeholders.

The petitioner had submitted that the SHC had ordered the Karachi commissioner to ensure that the quality of milk was checked at every stage of its supply from the dairy farms to the wholesalers and retailers and in case of any violation of the quality standards, legal action was taken against those responsible.

Shahzad had informed the SHC that in spite of the court order, milk was being sold in the city at an increased rate of Rs120 per litre and above but the commissioner was not taking action against milk sellers for selling the commodity at higher rates.

The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the revenue department and the Karachi Development Authority to ensure that no encroachment takes place in Scheme 36 of Gulistan-e-Johar either in the shape of some dummy village or a fake adverse claim.

Allowing a petition against encroachments and conversion of KDA land in rural land of a gothabad scheme, a division bench comprising Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Mohammad Faisal Kamal Alam observed that it has already been decided in superior court judgments that the entire Scheme 36 comprising 2,000 acres is a KDA land.

The bench observed that the high court had already decided the controversy with regard to encroachments in Block 10 Gulistan-e-Johar by observing that no Goth exists in the land.

The court directed all official respondents, including KDA and the revenue department, to coordinate with each other to retrieve the amenity plot and parking area in Block 10, Scheme 36 Gulistan-e-Johar, as mentioned in layout plan and master plan.

It told the KDA to ensure that such retrieved land is not misused by any persons, including the petitioners or other entity.

It observed that an honest and fair approach on part of the official respondents of the Sindh government should have been to place on record the high court and supreme court decisions, but these officials kept quiet and attempted to drag the litigation.

The court also dismissed the petition of Haji Jaffer Khan, who claimed ownership of land in the village of Chisti Nagar, Scheme 36, and observed that the petition was filed by adopting deceptive tactics and concealment of facts and abusing the process of the court.

It observed that after perusal of the record it has been found that officials of the Sindh government are in league with those who bring false ownership claims to courts with the aid and assistance of officials.

The ‘spetitioner counsel had earlier submitted that the entire area of Scheme 36 was earlier allotted to the KDA and private land grabbers in collision with official respondents had prepared a bogus housing scheme in the name of Chisti Nagar in Block 10 of Gulistan-e-Johar by misinterpreting the provisions of the Sindh Gothabad Housing Scheme Act 1987.

The land utilisation department counsel admitted that the land falls within the urban area of Karachi and is allotted to general inhabitants of the village under a policy of 2008 and not specifically under the Gothabad Act 1987.

 

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