Katas Raj case: SC removes Siddiqul Farooq from ETPB chairmanship

Katas Raj case: SC removes Siddiqul Farooq from ETPB chairmanship

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday removed Siddiqul Farooq from his chairmanship of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on the grounds that he had exceeded his three-year tenure.

A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar while using the power of quo warranto has observed that Sidiqul Farooq is not eligible to hold this office.

The court, during several earlier hearings of the case, had berated the ETPB chief over his negligence and appointment on nepotism.

The chief justice remarked that Katas Raj temple and pond should be restored to their original state, adding that cement factories were adversely affecting the local environment. The chief justice directed the cement factories to give a timeline for making alternative arrangements for water. “They’ve consumed mountains,” the chief justice remarked, referring to the cement factories.

He also summoned a response from the Punjab government on the export of limestone. The chief justice also came down hard on the ETPB Chairman Farooq asking how he could continue in the office when his term had expired.

“How long will political appointments continue to be made in the country,” the chief justice asked. The hearing was then adjourned for an indefinite period.

“Farooq’s credentials for appointment are his 30 years of political service,” observed the chief justice, adding that someone who collected newspapers in the party office was appointed to such an important post.

During the previous hearing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on Assistant Advocate General Punjab Asma Hamid.

The historic pond, a revered site for Hindus, is said to have depleted due to the operations of cement factories nearby which have sucked out the underground water.