Published On: Thu, Mar 21st, 2019
Published in Category: Corruption / Islamabad

SC summons progress report from Sindh govt over action against corrupt officers of forest department

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan, while conducting hearing of case pertaining to cutting of forests in the Sindh, has summoned progress report from the provincial government in six weeks on assurance from the Sindh government regarding action against the corrupt officers of the forest department Sindh.

Three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Wednesday conducted hearing of case pertaining to cutting of forests in the Sindh.

At the outset of the hearing, justice Azmat Saeed inquired as to whether any tree is left there which has not been cut in the country or all the trees have been cut.

Additional advocate general Sindh informed the court that 24 lac acres of forest land has been retrieved and all the leases of forest land have been cancelled.

Justice Azmat Saeed inquired as to whether Sindh government is satisfied with its performance. Upon this, the counsel of Sindh government admitted that the process of retrieving the forest land in the Sindh is slow.

Justice Faisal Arab said that as to what steps Sindh forest department has taken for planting trees and what is being done by the Sindh government for protection of forests, saying that after giving land on lease, it is said that steps are being taken for protection of forests.

Justice Azmat Saeed said that the court calls someone from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) who will file reference against the responsibles.

Chief Conservator forest department said that provincial cabinet gives approval for giving land on lease.

Justice Faisal Arab said that land is given on lease at the rate of Rs. 500 per acre. Secretary forests said that trees are being planted on the retrieved land of the forests. Upon this, Justice Faisal Arab said that he never saw forest on the land of forest department.

Justice Azmat Saeed said that he will believe on the word of learned judge and not on the word of secretary. Meanwhile, the petitioner blamed forest department for receiving extortion. The petitioner said that the forest land will be again grabbed if the court does not form any policy regarding the retrieved land. Justice Azmat Saeed said that the retrieved land will be used for the purpose of forests only and there will be no other use of this land. The court, while summoning progress report, adjourned hearing of the case for six weeks.

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