Contempt Proceedings Be Initiated Against PM If Karachi Circular Railways Project Is Not Run Within Six Months Time: SC


Contempt proceedings be initiated against PM if Karachi Circular Railways project is not run within six months time: SC

The SC also snubs Secretary railways, observing that he is just showing his power and doing nothing on this project.

LAHORE: (Urdu Point/Pakistan Point News-Feb 21st, 2020) The top court has warned Prime Minister Imran Khan that contempt proceedings may be initiated against him if Karachi Circular Railways project is not finalized within six months time.

A SC bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad gave these remarks while hearing the case on Karachi Circular Railways project.

As the proceedings commenced, Advocate General of Sindh presented a report before the court and said that Karachi Circular Railways project will be a profitable project very soon and all the populous areas will be facilitated by Circular Railways Project.

The Secretary Railways said that they are working day and night on the project and it will be run very soon. At this, the CJP snubbed him observing that they know that this project will not be run. “You are just enjoy your power and nothing else. Why a contempt proceedings should not be initiated against you,” the CJP observed while warning the officer.

“Contempt proceedings will be initiated against PM Imran Khan if this project is not run within six months time.

Previously, The top court had warned action against Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other officials of the provincial government on a contempt petition if they failed to comply with the previous orders for recovery of encroached land of Pakistan Railways. Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Karachi Commissioner and Railways Secretary and Advocate General Sindh were present there in the courtroom.

Last year in Nov, the top court had ordered the Sindh government authorities for recovery of land belonged to Pakistan Railways in the metropolitan city, and directed them to ensure revival of Karachi Circular Railways project. The court had also directed the authorities to ensure clearance of all railways tracks and clear the land owned by Pakistan Railways from encroachments, with the help of deputy commissioner.

During the proceedings on Thursday, CJP Gulzar asked the officials bout implementation of the orders to the Sindh top law officer said that the court’s order was about restoration of circular railways but the project was now absorbed into China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The law officer said that a framework for Karachi Circular Railways project was made by the provincial government for three times and was sent to the Federal government to send the same directly to China. He said the provincial government could not send the framework directly to China.

The AGP further informed the court that this project of Karachi Circular Railways project would have 24 gates and if those gates were opened they would cause traffic jams in the city. He contended that only 15,000 to 17,000 would use the project for commuting but there would be many more people who would be suffering due to traffic jams.

The CJP, however, rejected his argument, observing that the people of the city used to rely on Karachi Circular Reform before introduction of motorcycles and buses.

“It seems that the government is not serious to run this railways project,” CJP Gulzar observed, warning that action would be taken against the authorities for contempt of court as it would the only option left for the court if the orders were not implemented.

He further remarked that the court should issued contempt notice to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali shah, Karachi Mayor, Commissioner Karachi and the Railways secretary for non-compliance with its orders.

The court also directed the Railways secretary to get a copy of the decision taken by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on the KCR revival for the court's reference.

The CJP further observed that provincial government officials should accompany him (the Railways secretary) and learn how work gets done. He also remarked that the government was just focusing is political agenda was not doing proper work on the project. Advocate Faisal Siddiqui—the lawyer of the homeless people, also appeared before the court and said that KCR revival project left over 6,500 people homeless in Karachi. The government, he said, always targeted the houses of the poor and never dared to bulldoze any building owned by the rich.

The CJP remarked that the government did not take action against the rich because it was not in their interest. The top judge directed Commissioner Karachi for bulldozing houses and buildings built on railways’ land and gave him time of a week.

On it, the commissioner Karachi submitted that there was restraining order from the high court from bulldozing the buildings in question. At this, the CJP ordered the commissioner to go ahead and inform the Sindh High that it was done on the Supreme Court’s orders.

Railways Secretary said that it was the Sindh government which was causing delay and becoming hindrance in the way of the project.

At this, the CJP asked the Secretary Railways that whether it was the Sindh government’s responsibility to which he responded that there was the responsibility of the provincial government to revive the project. The Commissioner Karachi, however, objected to this statement that there was no responsibility of the provincial government as the subject falls under the railway ministry.

The CJP intervened and asked the bureaucrats to stop blaming each other, saying that nothing would b accomplished if the two officials continued to blame each other. The court adjourned the proceedings.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.