The Sindh High Court was irked on Friday by the absence of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s counsel in the case pertaining to the delimitation of constituencies and gave a final warning to the lawyer to appear in court at the next hearing.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar was hearing the plea by MQM-P leaders Kunwar Naveed Jamil, Amir Khan and former Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar, who have argued that the Election Commission of Pakistan issued a notification to include assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners in the committee formed to define the new constituencies, despite the mechanism for this being set in 2013.

The MQM-P leaders argue that the formation of committee for delimitation of constituencies is illegal and will affect local government elections.

The assistant of the petitioners’ counsel told the court that the counsel would be present at the next hearing and requested an extension.

Expressing annoyance, the court remarked that the absent counsel should inform the court if they did not want to pursue the case. Issuing a final warning to MQMP’s lawyer to appear before the court, the bench adjourned the hearing till December 3.

Replies sought In another case, the high court directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to provide alternative accommodation to residents of Jehangir Park and sought a reply on the matter by December 22.

The court was hearing a plea against the KMC for failing to resettle the residents.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the KMC had promised the residents of Jehangir Park accommodation in Taj Mustafa Colony but instead the KMC allotted quarters in the colony to their own people.

He contended that five per cent of the affected residents’ salaries had been being deducted on account of rent since 2015 but the quarters have not been allocated yet. The petitioner also told the court that the KMC was harassing the petitioners.

The court directed KMC to provide alternative accommodation to affected residents and sought a reply by December 22. Crypto-currency Meanwhile, a two-member bench headed by Justice KK Agha rejected the request for an immediate hearing of the plea challenging the ban on cryptocurrency, and sought replies from the Federal Investigation Agency and the Ministry of Trade and Commerce by December 17.

The petitioner contended that the State Bank of Pakistan is not permitting bitcoin accounts and the FIA is taking action against users of digital currency. The petition moves the court to restrict the FIA from doing so.

The assistant attorney-general told the court they would submit their replies at the next hearing, scheduled on December 17. The court rejected the petitioner’s request seeking an immediate hearing of the plea and directed the relevant authorities to submit their replies on December 17.