The Islamabad High Court on Monday suspended allotment of plots to judges, bureaucrats and government employees in the capital’s posh F-14 and F-15 sectors.
A two-member bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, was hearing a petition filed by property owners in villages Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan in Islamabad district against the acquisition of their land.
The IHC Chief Justice said people from whom the land had been acquired would not be affected by the stay order as they had already been allotted alternate plots.
The DC informed the court that the federal cabinet had formed a committee to look into the matter and present its report to the cabinet.
Upon this, Justice Minallah observed that the court had asked the federal government to explain its policy on the matter. “How could you jump over the people expecting [to be allotted plots] and give them to others?” he questioned.
The DC said the plots were also allotted to the judiciary, journalists, lawyers and people from other organizations based on the quota system.
“What is the fault of labourers? Why are they not given plots?” questioned the chief justice.
He further asked about the number of members who had not been allotted plots in Islamabad’s sectors F-14 and F-15.
IHC Chief Justice Minallah observed that the federal government had to make a policy on how state land would be distributed, adding that it would have to solve the problem through the report submitted to it by the committee.
Justice Minallah remarked that the government’s policy should be to allot plots only to those who did not have homes of their own and prevent them from selling them afterwards.
He again observed, “You also allotted plots to convicted and fired judges.”
He informed the court that nobody had been issued a final allotment letter yet, which would only be issued after approval from the relevant department.
Upon this, the chief justice remarked that the policy should be decided by the federal government which would also look into all the issues.
Meanwhile, the IHC issued notice to the attorney general, directing him to appear in the next hearing on October 14.
Last month, the IHC chief justice had suspended the allotment of plots to the capital’s judiciary in sectors F-14 and F-15, observing that the award of land was a sheer conflict of interest.
The Federal Government Employees Housing Authority, during balloting, had allotted plots to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and other judges of the superior judiciary as well as bureaucrats, including Dr Waqar Masood Khan and Dr Shahzad Arbab, who were elevated as special assistants to the prime minister after retiring from the government service though Dr Waqar Masood later submitted resignation over differences with the FBR Chief.