A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice heard the case pertaining to leasing out forest land in the province.
During the hearing, Sindh advocate general informed the court, “70,000 acres of land was illegally leased and the lease has still not been cancelled.” At this, Justice Faisal Arab said, “The forest land is being allotted on the directives of the Sindh chief minister.”
The chief justice then turned to the Sindh advocate general and said, “Forests are crucial for the environment. The court had issued an order on October 30 but the Sindh cabinet has still not implemented it. If you don’t want to work, then leave the post.”
“Why are those who don’t have the right to govern sitting on top posts? Those who don’t work do not deserve to run the government,” Justice Nisar added.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed, “Illegal constructions were made on 145,000 acres of forest land. Sindh government itself admits that influential people were illegally allotted the land. Why are these encroachments on thousands of acres of land not removed?”
At this, the petitioner stated, “The forest land was illegally allotted to Omni Group.”
“The Sindh government did not even try to vacate the occupants,” the bench remarked. “We had directed the Survey General of Pakistan to fix the boundaries of the four provinces, not sure if they have submitted a report or not,” the chief justice added.
“Had never though that the government would admit to doing illegal work and then won’t even conduct an inquiry on it,” Justice Nisar continued.
Directing the Sindh government to submit a reply by January 8, the chief justice said, “We will hear this case in Karachi on January 9.”