SHC asks action against SHOs failing to remove encroachments from their areas

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) observed on Thursday that if the SHO of the area takes encroachment issue seriously, no encroachment whatsoever be caused on any public thoroughfare in the city.

The division bench of SHC directed the DIG and SSP South to ensure that SHOs who fail to comply with the legal command should no longer be posted at any of the police station and besides disciplinary proceedings on account of their incompetency should be initiated against them.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by NGO, United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s secretary general Rana Faizul Hasan who move court against encroachments on the roads of the city, particularly Saddar Town.

The petitioner had submitted that shop owners, roadside vendors, operators of illegal parking and inter-city bus terminals have encroached upon the roads in collusion with local administration and the area police.

He said the areas of the city Regal Chowk, Akbar Road, M.A. Jinnah Road, Shahrah-i-Liaquat, Pakistan Chowk, Ranchhore Line, Abdullah Haroon Road, Zaibunnisa Road, New MA Jinnah Road were encroached upon but civic administration did not take action.

Earlier, the court had summoned the SSP South and SHOs of Saddar and Preedy police stations to appear before it and explain the allegations levelled against them regarding encroachment.

On Thursday, heads of Preedy and Saddar police station appeared before the court and filed their responses. However, the court issued show-cause notice to SSP South for his failure to appear in court and directed him to explain as to why the proceedings for showing disrespect to the court order should not be initiated against him. He was directed to file his reply within three weeks.

SHO Preedy told the judges that 429 persons were arrested in 2014 for encroaching upon the roads and 124 FIRs lodged against the encroachers.

SHO Saddar said that Saddar police had registered 87 FIRs against occupants and arrested 107 persons. When asked, both SHOs admitted that not a single pushcart or property with which hindrance was caused was confiscated.

KMC’s anti-encroachment cell director submitted that the corporation was not in position to remove of the encroachments without cooperation of the area police.

The court summoned deputy secretary home department, DIG South and incharge city wardens on the next hearing on December 11.

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