The Sindh High Court on Tuesday extended its stay on the demolition of leased properties along the Gujjar and Oranginullahs till June 1.
The court had asked the Sindh government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to submit documents that proved that the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of leased properties.
They both said that they have no knowledge of the passing of any such order regarding the cancellation of leases.
The bench remarked that the top court’s verdict did not give any such instructions. “Where did the court say that the lease should be cancelled?”The KMC lawyer said that the Supreme Court will hear the case on May 24 and instructions would become moreclear then.
Faisal Siddiqi, the lawyer for the petitioners, said that the KMC has approached the Supreme Court for the removal of encroachment and not the properties leased out for 99 years.
The city government has been demolishing the houses while seeking clarification from the Supreme Court, the bench said. “What is the government even doing?”
The bench said that the officers who approved the lease should be held accountable. The authorities should file cases against such officers rather than demolishing people’s houses.
On May 17, the high court halted the drive until the Supreme Court adjudicated on the case. The court remarked, while hearing the petition against the drive, that it has to seek clarification from the Supreme Court about whether leased houses can be called “encroachments” or not.