The Supreme Court directed the relevant authorities to end illegal occupation of state property across Sindh including Karachi.
It further issued orders for the restoration of green belts, removal of encroachments from parks and playgrounds and ending the illegal occupation of land owned by the forest and irrigation departments across the province.
The directive from a three-member bench headed by the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed came during the hearing at the SC’s Karachi Registry of a case related to the computerisation of land records.
Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Qazi Shahid Parvaiz submitted a report, sought by the court at a previous hearing, pertaining to the computerisation of land records.
In a report he presented to the court, Mr Pervaiz acknowledged that government lands in the province had been illegally occupied, with more than 240,000 bogus entries identified in the province from 1985 till date..
Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) pointed out in the report that 1,000 acres of illegally occupied state land had been evacuated in Malir in recent days.
Over 1,100 of these entries were pending a judicial review while more than 1,000 fake ones had already been removed, according to the report submitted by Pervaiz.
The SMBR further informed the court that 70 million land records had been computerised in Sindh.
Referring to the previous day’s hearing pertaining to encroachments on the Karachi Circular Railway land, the CJP said it had emerged that a building had been constructed on land owned by the government.
When the SMBR said that action had also been taken against mukhtiarkars on the matter, the CJP sought details of land owned by the government in Sindh and directed him to remove illegal structures wherever they had been built on state land.
However, the court refuted this claim, commenting that cases of fake land records were still being filed in the Sindh High Court.
Parvaiz maintained, however, that the issue had been resolved to a large extent. He elaborated that the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation had been engaged for the preparation of land documents and each page of the document had a printing ID. Besides, all land records kept by mukhtiarkars are matched with those in the revenue department, the SMBR added.
At this, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah pointed out that there was large number of irregularities in the records of properties in Thatta.