The Islamabad High Court on Monday suspended the allotment of plots to judges, bureaucrats, and government employees in the capital’s F-14 and 15 sectors through lottery.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani was hearing petition filed by property owners in villages Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan against the acquisition of their land.
The 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 estate director, law director and deputy commissioner of the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) appeared in the court during the hearing.
The deputy commissioner 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 did you jump over the people expecting [to be allotted plots] and give them to others?” he questioned.
The court is talking about 31,000 to 32,000 members of the federal government who were awaiting plots, he added.
The deputy commissioner answered that plots were also allotted to the judiciary, journalists, lawyers and people from other organisations based on quota system.
“What is the fault of labourers? Why are they not given plots?” the chief justice questioned.
Justice Minallah inquired about the number of members who had not been allotted plots in Islamabad’s F-14 and 15 sectors.
“There must be a waiting list. What was the policy? You have also allotted plots to judges who were sacked because of corruption. Is it the policy to encourage corruption?” he asked.
He observed that the federal government has 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.
The deputy commissioner informed the court that the government was ready to compensate the affected people but they were not cooperating.
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 afterwards.
You also allotted plots to convicted and fired judges.”
The FGEHA counsel contended that the judges must have been employed when they filled out the application for the allotment of plots.
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.
The IHC issued a notice to the attorney general, directing him to appear in the next hearning on Oct 14.