Karachi

SC orders restoration of Markaz-i-Islami, converted into cinema

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the civic authorities to restore Markaz-i-Islami in the city’s Federal B Area into its original condition, ARY News reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court at Karachi Registry, comprising of Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, directed the government to take action against the firm and the officers of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation responsible for converting Markaz-i-Islami into a cinema.

The bench directed the authorities to send the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for investigation into it and submit report within 15 days.

Markaz-i-Islami, which is under administrative control of KMC, was established on June 8, 1982 to organise activities aimed at promotion of Islamic traditions and values. However, it was given to a firm on rent for organizing cultural activities.

Another agreement was signed with the same firm after a period of about a year and a half, to screen pictures, hold theater shows and other cultural programmes before it was handed over to M/s Cinepax Cinemas which set up Cinema halls inside the premises.

During hearing, the KMC lawyer told the judges that the Islamic center was given to the firm for organizing cultural activities. However, it sets up cinema halls in it. When the authorities took action against it, they went to the Sindh High Court and got a stay order against the action.

Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken notice of conversion of the center into the cinema on a petition of Jamat-i-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem, who sought action against those responsible and restoration of the center.

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