The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday temporarily restrained Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) from demolishing Makkah Terrace built on a residential plot in violation of Karachi Building and Town Planning Regulations 2002.
Residents of the multistory building in the Saddar area of Karachi had approached the court against an order passed earlier directing SBCA to demolish the building.
The residents’ petition was fixed before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput, which had ordered the building’s demolition.
At the very outset of the hearing, Justice Zafar inquired from the counsel for the petitioners that how did the petitioners get subleases of illegally constructed apartments?
It was not the fault of his clients. It was the system’s fault that allowed the commission of such illegality. Those who were supposed to take action when these illegalities were being committed were equally responsible, the counsel replied.
The SHC bench observed that the residents had a legal remedy available against the builder, which they could avail.
The counsel for the residents submitted that his clients had paid the money believing that necessary permissions had been granted by the relevant authorities and so nobody acted against the builder.
The court directed the state lawyer to take necessary measures for initiating criminal proceedings against the builder in a court of proper jurisdiction.
Construction of a multistory building without an approved plan was illegal and equally illegal was taking of possession of the apartments by allottees without the issuance of a completion certificate by the concerned department, it observed.
The counsel for the residents told the court that his clients received notice in the night for vacating the premises by the next day, while electricity of the building was disconnected the same night.
The demolition order was passed without allowing the residents to be heard, he said and prayed for suspension of the demolition order till residents’ petition was decided.
Issuing a notice of the petition to SBCA and other respondents, the court deferred hearing on the matter till November 8, and until then, restrained SBCA from demolishing Makkah Terrace.