Housing agency appeals IHC allotment ruling. On Monday (today), the Supreme Court will hear a series of petitions filed by the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) and its director general seeking protection from “obstacles in carrying out lawful pursuits and developing acquired lands” to provide housing for the homeless.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench comprised of Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah will hear the cases. The FGEHA will be represented by Muhammad Akram Sheikh, while the director general’s counsel will be Muhammad Munir Paracha.
The petitioners sought that the highest court vacate the restraining order issued by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Aug 20, suspending allotments to judicial officers serving or having served in the high court and Islamabad District Courts.
The IHC referred the petition to a larger bench for further consideration and expressed amazement that judicial officers of almost every district court benefited from the ballot for the assignment of plots in Islamabad’s F-14 and F-15 sectors.
The top court ruled this was a conflict of interest because the plots were given away at far less than market value. Additionally, the list featured the names of some court authorities who were terminated for misconduct or corruption.
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The appeals emphasized that before the Islamabad High Court, the petitioners had not objected to the land’s purchase.
The petition stated that the issue is (a) whether may have brought the land for the FGEHA and (b) qualified for assignment of plots carved out of the land obtained for the authority.
The IHC, the appeal contended, highlighted issues that were not addressed by the petitioners and sought no decision in the writ petition.
“This equates to the exercise of suo motu jurisdiction, which the Indian High Court (IHC) lacks. As it has already been developed that the High Court may exercise its writ power under Article 199 on the application of an aggrieved party or the application of any individual, the Aug 20 ruling is manifestly unconstitutional,” the appeal stated.
While exercising jurisdiction under Article 199, the court, the petitioners contended, cannot go beyond the grievance of an aggrieved party or individual.
Because the IHC’s contentious issues had been settled by a larger bench of the Supreme Court, the petitioners contended that the court’s Aug 20 order was unsustainable.
The FGEHA, it argued, was a public institution dedicated to providing housing for current and retired federal government employees, but vested interests had rendered the organisation dysfunctional through media scandals.
The petitions stated that the high court ruling had instilled fear among members of FGEHA schemes and allottees throughout Islamabad and other towns.
“Therefore, it is critical that this matter of great public importance be adjudicated under the constitutional scheme of adjudication and free of any influence from the parties involved, so that FGEHA may continue its work uninterrupted and unhindered,” the petitioners pleaded with the Supreme Court.
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