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Land records digitisation: SC dismisses BoR report on encroachments

25 Nov, 2021
The CJP expressed ire over the report presented by the revenue department. File photo
The CJP expressed ire over the report presented by the revenue department. File photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a report of a senior member of the Board of Revenue related to illegal occupation of state land and asked the Sindh government to retrieve the same and submit a comprehensive report in one month, reported Aaj News.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case of computerization of the record of state lands at the Karachi Registry on Thursday. Senior member of the Board of Revenue appeared before the court in the hearing.

Expressing his ire over the report presented by the revenue department, the CJP said that more than half of state lands in Sindh had been illegally occupied, while retorting if BoR officials were attempting to fool judges with their report.

The court also rebuked the BoR representative after getting an unsatisfactory response to their query about the are of illegally occupied land that had been cleared of encroachments.

In his remarks, Justice Gulzar told the senior member not to reproduce "stories" of committe in the court and to clear lands that are under illegal occupation.

Justice Gulzar was also unhappy with the performance of the anti-encroachment courts, giving the reference of Sukkur. He pointed out that there was only one case of state land being illegally occupied in the area, to which the BoR member said that efforts were underway to computerize the record.

Justice Aijaz ul Ahsan in his remarks said almost all state lands in Hyderabad were encroached.

He mentioned that no case of illegal occupation of land was reported from Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Benazairabad, while state lands in Karachi were also completely encroached but only nine cases were reported so far .

Justice Qazi Amin even inquired from the attorney general whether there was any collusion between governemnt and those involved in illegal encroachment of government land, adding if they were being protected.

Justice Gulzar remarked that almost half of the state-owned land in Karachi have been encroached, asking were these 15 or 20 storey buildings legal. All these buildings were built on fake papers in collaboration with the revenue department, he added, mentioning buildings near the Malir River and the Korangi bridge.

In response, the BoR senior member said the officials were intiating proceedings in Korangi.

CJP Gulzar also inquired about illegal lands beside the Jinnah International Airport and asked what was stopping the officials from taking action in line with court orders.

No matter how many letters would the official write in a day, he will have to implement court orders otherwise a contempt case would be initiated against the officials, the top judge remarked.