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Contempt notice issued to KMC chief in Clifton temple case
10-30-2014, 06:53 PM
Post: #1
Contempt notice issued to KMC chief in Clifton temple case
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued a contempt notice to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator for flouting its order for the preservation of 150-year-old Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Clifton.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, also directed the KMC and Bahria Town to ensure commencement of work for the preservation of the temple within 24 hours “without fail”.

The bench was seized with a contempt of court application against the KMC administrator who according to the applicant did not comply with repeated orders of the court.

Member of the provincial assembly Mukesh Kumar Chawla and the secretary general of the All Pakistan Hindu Pachayats, represented by Advocate Haider Waheed, had approached the court seeking its directives for provincial authorities and KMC for safeguarding the historical building.

According to the petitioners, the construction of a flyover and two underpasses by the real estate firm had posed a serious threat to the foundation of the 150-year-old temple. They apprehended that if urgent repairs were not carried out, walls of temple might collapse, putting in peril the building, lives of visitors as well as religious idols and symbols.

Earlier, the bench had directed the KMC and Bahria Town to take measures for the preservation of the temple.The court also had directed the authorities concerned to ensure full and effective safety and security of the temple under the supervision of qualified and reputed civil engineer.

On Wednesday, Advocate Haider Waheed moved a contempt of court application against the KMC administrator. He submitted that despite repeated orders of the court and undertakings by the relevant authorities and Bahria Town, the work as mandated by the court had not commenced yet. He told the judges that there was grave urgency in the matter as the meteorological department forecast that a cyclone would bring heavy showers in Karachi.

The counsel added that upcoming rains would damage the historical site if relevant authorities did not carry out urgent preservation work. He said there was likelihood of irreparable damage to the temple by the expected rains unless a trench dug out along the side of the temple was made waterproof, as the rainwater would otherwise sweep towards the temple.

He asked the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the KMC administrator for disobeying its orders.

The counsel for the petitioners also requested the court to direct the relevant authorities to carry out preservation work immediately.

The bench ordered: “We would, therefore, direct the respondents and the intervener to ensure that the work as described above be commenced at the earliest and within 24 hours, without fail.”

The bench also issued the contempt notice to the KMC administrator, directing him to file his response to the contempt application by Nov 6.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2014
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