Pak SC irked by construction on Hindu Gymkhana premises in Sindh

Karachi, July 26

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has expressed displeasure with Sindh provincial authorities for allowing the national performing art academy to carry out construction on the premises of Hindu Gymkhana, a heritage building here, and summoned top officials of culture to appear at the next hearing.

The petitioner contended that the heritage site belonged to the Hindu community of Karachi before the partition as it was established for the promotion of social and religious activities of Hindus, but the government took it over as an evacuee trust property after the partition.

Therefore, the petitioner argued that directive may be issued to the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) to vacate the building and hand it over to the Hindu community.

A three-judge Bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday heard the petition filed by Shree Ratneshwar Mahadev Welfare in 2014 seeking ban on construction on the premises of Hindu Gymkhana, Dawn newspaper reported.

The Napa is located in the gymkhana building.

The Bench expressed displeasure with the provincial officials and said how construction could be allowed on the premises of a heritage building.

Justice Ahmed warned that the time would come when such constructions on the premises of Hindu Gymkhana would be demolished and directed the chief secretary and the secretary of culture to turn up along with their replies at the next hearing.

The report however did not mention the date of the next hearing.

In the last hearing, an additional advocate general submitted that the heritage site was leased to the Napa for 30 years in September 2005 and added that the Sindh High Court had also handed down a judgement in favour of Napa as well. — PTI