The Supreme Court on Monday expressed extreme displeasure at Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab and ordered Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to remove him from his position and appoint a “capable and unbiased” administrator, saying he had “prima facie failed to fulfill his duties”.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin issued the order after an exchange with Wahab while hearing numerous important matters pertaining to unauthorised and illegal construction, encroachments of amenity plots, conversion of residential properties into commercial ones and the issue of two private hospitals allegedly running their health facilities on amenity plots at the apex court’s Karachi registry.
During the hearing of a matter related to the Gutter Baghicha, Justice Amin remarked: “These are state lands [and] not your personal property. [You will] have to return them. If we don’t take them [back] then someone else will. You will return the lands.”
“Should we leave the government?” Wahab questioned, saying that “major observations” were made about the provincial government by the court.
“Shut up mister! What are you talking about? Don’t do politics here,” the CJP reprimanded Wahab.
“Get out of here. [We] are dismissing you now,” the CJP ordered, asking Wahab if he is an administrator or a political leader.
Wahab is not competent enough to serve as Karachi administrator, the court observed.
“Get out,” the CJP told Wahab, asking him to leave the court room.
CASE AGAINST OFFICIALS WHO APPROVED NASLA TOWER: Earlier, the court ordered authorities to register a case against officials involved in approving the building plan of the 15-storey Nasla Tower, and directed that departmental and criminal proceedings be initiated.
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan informed the court that steps had not been taken yet to provide compensation to the affectees of Nasla Tower and requested the Supreme Court to ensure the same.
Subsequently, the court ordered the seizure of 780 square yards of the land Nasla Tower was constructed upon and directed the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) official assignee to stop its sale.
At the outset of the hearing, Commissioner Iqbal Memon informed the court that five of the building’s floors had been demolished and 400 labourers were working. “Four hundred people can not manage to demolish a single building?” questioned the chief justice.
The commissioner responded that the building’s internal structure had been demolised and only the exterior could be seen.
The chief justice then questioned the commissioner about mentioning that the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) obstructed the demolition work in a report that he submitted to the apex court.
“We have stopped people in a civilised manner. Abad (Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan) also protested [and] we dealt peacefully [with them],” the commissioner said.
“[Why] have you written [that] a Samaa TV reporter is interfering?” Justice Amin asked.
The commissioner reiterated that affairs were being dealt with in a peaceful manner and people were stopped from approaching the building by imposing Section 144.
“The problem is that non-state actors are activated due to the weakness of the state. The bottom line is that the building is still standing,” Justice Amin said.
“Such a building is torn down in one hour in the world. What are you people doing?” the chief justice asked.