Supreme Court on Friday directed Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to restore the original status of Markaz-i-Islami, Aisha Manzil Karachi, which has been turned into a cinema.
Former Chief Justice of apex court Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken suo motu notice of turning the Markaz-i-Islami into cinema on the plea of JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman. Taufuiq Asif and Saifuddin Advocate represented JI in the case.
Former mayor Abdul Sattar Afghani had establish Markaz-i-Islami to have hostels, a library, a picture gallery, a research hall for 100 people and an auditorium for around 350 people.
During Mustafa Kamal’s tenure, it was renamed as Markaz-i-Ilm-o-Saqafat. But later it was given on contract to M/s Funrama (Furqan Haider) on a rent of Rs200,000 per month.
Later on, the then KMC administrator signed a new agreement with M/s Funrama allowing it to screen pictures, hold theatre shows, and other cultural programmes, effectively turning it into cinema.
After some time, the contractor handed over the premises to M/s Cinepax Cinemas on Rs500,000 per month and cinema halls were set up there. The apex court while directing KMC to restore Markaz-e-Islami asked it to file complaint in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against turning the Markaz into cinema illegally and submit a report in the SC within 15 days.