Sindh Madressatul Islam University holds right of ownership on land where shops were illegally built: Spokesman

Karachi: Sindh Madressatul Islam University’s spokesperson on Friday while clearing SMIU’s positions on shops constructed at its land said that Sindh Madressatul Islam University holds legal right of ownership on the entire land on which shops were illegally built in 1966.

He said the SMI is located on two plots 1-SR-4 and Plot No. 1/A ST4, Sarai Quarters, Karachi measuring 22117 sq. yards and 13941 sq. yards respectively. Both the plots belong to the “Government for the purpose of Sindh Madressatul Islam,” as per letter issued by the Director Land Karachi Municipal Corporation on 2nd May 2012.

The spokesperson maintained that as per record of the Commissioner office; vide copy of the Property Register for city of Karachi, both the plots are allotted in the name of “Government for the purpose of Sindh Madressatul Islam.”

He said that Sindh Madressatul Islam was established by Sindh National Muhammadan Association in 1885, while the Sindh Madrassah Board was constituted after 11 years of its establishment as a separate body to manage the affairs of the institution. Accordingly the Board was registered under the Societies Registration Act, on 11th September 1896 after death of its founder Khan Bahadur Hassanally Effendi.

“If these shops were so much necessary then why the founder of the SMI not constructed these on the land of SMI instead of collecting donations from government and private organizations?” he questioned and said that in 1966, after 81 years of establishment of Sindh Madrassah, when no saner elements remained in the Board, the then Board management started to use the land of Sindh Madrassah for commercial purposes, which was solely given to Sindh Madrassah by the KMC for education purpose. In this regard the Board requested the Land Utilization Department of the Government of West Pakistan vide letter dated 5th November 1966 for granting permission to construct shops and offices on an area of 3512.sq. yards out of plot No. SR4/1 and SR4/1A Saria Quarters, Karachi on the condition that the income from the said shops and offices will be utilized for the benefits of various educational institutions working under the Board. Therefore, when the federal government nationalized Sindh Madressatul Islam and other institutions run by the Board, and constituted Board of Governors to run the Sindh Madrassah, then the existence of the Sindh Madrassah Board remained seized, but the people who had vested interests with the then name of “Sindh Madrassah Board” used its name for their personal benefits.

Legally, after nationalization of Sindh Madrassah and other institutions run by the Board the ownership of the shops constructed on Sindh Madrassah land shifted again to Sindh Madrassah as the Board had no connection with its administrative affairs. Despite that fact, the Board management continued to take amount from the shops for their personal use.

The spokesperson said, now Sindh Madressatul Islam has been elevated to the level of university, therefore, under Section 46(1) and (2) all the notifications, legislative instruments etc. issued in this respect of the SMI before the Act, stands repealed and the property rights etc. are transferred to SMI University. This is why, the SMIU is trying to get remove the shops from the land of SMIU to restore its past grandeur.