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IHC suspends plot allotments to judges, bureaucrats and govt employees

A special division bench hear various petitions against allotment of plots. (Source: AFP)

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the results of the lucky draw of plots’ allotment to government employees, judges, and bureaucrats in the capital’s F-14 and F-15 sectors.

A special division bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heard a petition filed by property owners in villages Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan against the acquisition of their land.

The estate director, law director and deputy commissioner of the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) — which had allotted the plots after balloting — 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. He said that plots were being allotted to journalists, lawyers, and employees of autonomous bodies under the quota system.

Upon this, Justice Minallah questioned, “Why aren’t labourers given a plot?” He added that the federal government should have a policy that only homeless people will get a plot who cannot sell the property later.

Justice Minallah said that 31 to 32 thousand people were waiting for the plots. He stated that there should have been a waiting list, as plots have been allotted to convicted and dismissed judges.

The High Court suspended the allotment of plots to government employees, judges and bureaucrats in sectors F14 and 15 through a lucky draw and issued notice to the Attorney General for assistance 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 government service.