SC Bars Sindh Govt from Leasing State Land on Long Term at Dirt Cheap Prices

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A three-member panel headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Saqib Nisar including Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, has ordered Sindh’s provincial authorities to stop leasing out land for both 99 and 30 years on basis of favoritism.

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While hearing a couple of cases at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, the CJP advised Sindh’s secretary for land utilization department to lease out the state land through an open auction in a bid to ensure transparency.

A number of citizens have requested the apex court to reconsider its Nov 28, 2012 judgement.

The restraint order states:

Mindful of rampant corruption and organized crime of land grabbing, particularly, regarding prime state land, and mismanagement/forgeries in the revenue record, we hereby, until further orders restrain the Government/Revenue Department from mutation, allotment, transfer and or conversion of any state land and or keeping any transaction or entry in the record of rights in this regard in revenue record of Sindh or till the entire revenue record in Sindh is reconstructed.

The apex court had imposed restrictions on leasing out state land at throwaway prices and that too without public participation. A number of people have filed petitions regarding leasing of land for windmills, agriculture purposes, while others have applied for an extension after the initial 30-year lease span, however, they claim that these are not being processed due to the apex court’s strict ruling in 2012.

CJP questioned the authorities and the applicants about the law under which they granted or were granted state land without open bidding, therefore rejecting their pleas. He maintained that Supreme Court had also directed Punjab to lease state lands through open bidding and Sindh must do the same.

Justice Saqib Nisar also said that he would not allow wasting of state resources by leasing land at such prices without any transparency. The applicants, however, were adamant that Supreme Court should relax its ruling on mutation, allotment, transfer or conversion of state-owned land.

Via Dawn

Sajawal Rehman

SEO & GIS Expert at ProPakistani, Sajawal also writes features and loves cricket.

Originally Published on ProPakistani.com

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