SC bars construction of wedding halls, plazas on residential plots in Karachi


KARACHI: The Supreme Court’s (SC) Karachi Registry on Tuesday barred the use of residential plots for commercial purposes including the construction of wedding halls, shopping malls and plazas.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sajid Ali Shah heard the case pertaining to the illegal construction of wedding halls, shopping halls and plazas in residential areas and directed Sindh Building Control Authority from issuing no-objection certificates for construction of commercial buildings unless the projects are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As the hearing went underway, the court said that “In Karachi, no house will be demolished to be used for commercial purposes,” adding that “do whatever but implement court orders”. The bench further directed city authorities to demolish unlawful constructions across Karachi.

“If the orders are not implemented then we will ask DG Sindh Control Building Authority (SCBA) Iftikhar Qaimkhani to pack up,” the bench further said.

Justice Ahmed further criticised DG SCBA and said, “If you can’t work then why are you sitting on the post? Should we give this city to the federal or Sindh government?”

“If they cannot run the city then the Sindh government can take over,” Justice Ahmed remarked.

The judge further asked DG SCBA, “Does anyone feel ashamed after looking at the condition of this city? SCBA officials only care about making billions”.

Justice Ahmed further directed the additional advocate general to “finish the local government system”.

Following this, the bench summoned the chief secretary and also sought details of wedding halls, shopping malls and plazas constructed in the city in the last 30 to 40 years. The bench further sought recommendations from the Sindh government regarding restoring the city to how it was 40 years ago.