IHC questions plot allotments to govt servants, reserves verdict in case 

By: 24 News      Published: 04:58 PM, 22 Nov, 2021
Islamabad High Court
Islamabad High Court

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has said that after giving plots to government employees, Rs300 billion will be shifted from the national kitty to the pockets of private people, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The judge remarked how he could allow the violation of basic rights saying the government could make hospitals from this money and inflation could be brought down.

A two-judge bench of Islamabad High Court comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Monday reserved judgement on a case relating to the allotment of plots to the government employees. 

The federal housing ministry secretary and federal government housing authority director general appeared before the court. 

The chief justice inquired of the housing secretary regarding the progress on the case as the latter had asked for more time from the court until the federal government made a policy in this regard. 

Justice Minallah said that in the meantime federal government housing authority director general submitted an application to the court. 

The judge asked the DG what order of the court bothered him. He fumed that the government officials would say something else here but would do something entirely different. 

Akram Sheikh tried to speak but the CJ stopped him. 

The secretary housing ministry informed the court that that the government had prepared the policy.

The justice asked him was it the right of a government servant to get a plot. If it’s the right, then instead of giving plots to officers, the plots should be allotted to all government employees. 

The additional attorney general informed the court the he had put the court decision before the cabinet and the latter made a committee to deliberate on the issue. 

Housing secretary said as per the policy, only the federal government employees would be entitled to get plots. Lawyers, journalists and others have been excluded from the policy, he revealed adding that seniority would be determined only from age. 

The court sought clearance from the secretary if the policy allows only the federal government servants to have plots, then judges must not be included in it. 

The secretary replied that the policy order regarding plot allotment to judges would be sent to the concerned authority through the chief justice registrar office.

CJ Minallah asked was it possible that the government servant who got the plot, would be able to sell it. If so, then Rs300 billion would be transferred from national exchequer to the private people. How could we allow the abuse of basic rights of people, the judge added. 

Either these plots should be given at market rate, otherwise it will be injustice to other cities, the judge observed adding that from this money, the government can build houses for labourers.

The CJ further remarked how the conflict of interest matter could be eliminated from this case as the interest of Supreme Court judges was included in it. 

Akram Sheikh Advocate told the court that its hearing was scandalizing the top court’s judges. From this hearing, one can assume that the SC judges are taking advantage. He lamented that the housing secretary and DG were summoned on Sunday.

On this, Justice Minallah remarked, if it concerned the basic rights of people, he would hold court even on Sundays. 

The judge observed that Rs500 million worth plots were being given for Rs4 million. Everybody knows what happened in the name of land requisition, he said regretting that 11,000 people had been waiting for the allotment of plots since 1960. 

 Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani