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SC cancels plot allotments in Gwadar and seeks report

A nine-member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday summoned a detailed report on the allotment of land in Gwadar to ministers, politicians and bureaucrats, and directed the Balochistan advocate general to cancel the allotments and return the land to the provincial government.

The bench was conducting a hearing in two appeals filed by Bibi Zahra. Balochistan Advocate General Salahudin Mengal appeared on behalf of the provincial government.The bench questioned the authenticity of the allotment of 241,600 acres of land and directed the senior member of the Balochistan Board of Revenue to review the illegal allotments and submit a report.

“You should stop this style of allotment of state land to ministers and other rulers. State property should not be turned into private property,” said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Justice Javed Iqbal, a member of the bench, criticised the board”s role and said it had become a silent spectator.

The advocate general told the bench that after the allotment of 241,600 acres of land, the Balochistan government was left with only 25,000 acres in Gwadar. Justice Javed Iqbal said the remaining land consisted of “only ditches”.

He said the Balochistan government did not accept the 1976-1977 land settlement in Gwadar and only recognised the settlements made from 1983 to 1996. “But the problem is that this land has been sold into many hands.” Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said a number of housing schemes were still operative and there was no one to check their authenticity. Large ads were being published in newspapers, he said, showing buildings that gave the impression of Dubai. He said millions of rupees were being robbed from innocent people. This should be stopped, he said, to avert a new financial scandal.The bench adjourned the hearing for two months.

According to Online news agency, the court said in its order that the authorities should ascertain under what rules the land has been allotted and submit proposals and a comprehensive report in this regard. It said the people to whom the illegal allotments have been made should be given an opportunity to defend themselves. The ongoing government sponsored projects, it said, should not be stopped, however.

The bench consists of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Sayyed Saeedul Ashhad, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Sardar Raza Muhammad Khan, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and Justice Nasirul Mulk.

Source: Daily Times

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