KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday issued contempt notice to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administrator for flouting its order that directed him to take measures for preservation of 150-year-old Sheeri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Clifton.
Headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, a division bench also repeated its directions for KMC and Bahria Town to ensure that the work for preservation of the temple is commenced within 24 hours without fail.
Member provincial assembly Mukesh Kumar Chawla and All Pakistan Hindu Pachayat’s secretary general had approached the court seeking its directives for provincial authorities and KMC for safeguarding the historic building.
Haider Waheed, representing petitioners, submitted that construction of a flyover near Abdullah Shah Gazi Shrine had posed a serious threat to the foundation of 150-year-old Sheeri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple. “Historical temple, which was a national heritage, was put in danger by commencement of the project.”
He apprehended that if urgent repairs were not carried out, walls of temple might collapse putting in peril the building, lives of worshipers who visit it as well as the religious idols and symbols.
During preliminary hearing, the court had directed authorities concerned to ensure full and effective safety and security of the subject building under the supervision of qualified and reputed civil engineer.
On Monday, Waheed filed a contempt of court application on behalf of petitioners, submitting that despite repeated orders of this court and undertakings by the relevant authorities and the intervener, the work as mandated by the court had not commenced yet. He said that there was grave urgency in the matter as the metrological department has forecasted that cyclone would bring heavy showers.
Rains would damage the historical site if relevant authorities did not carry out urgent preservation work, he added. Citing KMC administrator as contemnor, the counsel pleaded to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against him for disobedience of its orders. The court was also requested to direct authorities to carry out preservation work immediately.
After hearing preliminary arguments on application, the court issued contempt notice to KMC administrator to file his response to the application by November 6.