The Sindh High Court has stopped the Sindh Building Control Authority from demolishing the four-story Makkah Terrace located near Preedy Street in Karachi's Saddar.
At a hearing on Thursday, Maqbool-ur-Rehman, the counsel of the building's residents, argued that petitioners purchased the flats through "registered instruments and have not committed any illegality".
"[The] petitioners are bonafide purchasers, but the official respondents [SBCA] has not assisted the court properly," Rehman said, adding that if a restraining order is not granted until the next date, the petitioners will suffer irreparable losses.
The hearing on Thursday was attended by the residents of Makkah Terrace. In the middle of the proceedings, a number of petitioners started protesting. Consequently, Justice Zafar Rajput said that the people living in the building are "illegal allottees".
The provision of residency certificates is not allowed without the completion of the allotment, the judge pointed out. "These flats have been built on compulsory open space."
We will crack down against everyone involved in criminal activities, the court remarked, instructing the SBCA to immediately register a case against Muhammad Wasim, the builder of Makkah Terrace.
Justice Rajput has summoned a report on the FIR on Monday, November 8. The court has also halted the demolition of the building till the next hearing.
Residents, police clash
Meanwhile, Makkah Terrace residents clashed with the police Thursday. Teams of the Sindh Building Control Authority reached the site early morning along with the police.
The authorities were, however, stopped from entering the building after residents gathered outside. During the arguments, fights broke out between the groups which were later resolved.
Makkah Terrace case
Earlier this week, the Sindh High Court instructed authorities to demolish the building within a week.
Makkah Terrace is located in Karachi’s Saddar near Preedy Street. It was built in 2016. According to SBCA, 20% of the tower is built on illegal land.
The building has been constructed on 527 square yards and comprises 16 flats. Several families have been living in the flats for a number of years now.
During the hearing on Monday, the SBCA said that demolishing 20% of the building is not possible because that will mean sabotaging the entire tower. The court, consequently, ordered the authority to demolish the entire building.