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SC denies to hear appeals in plots case before IHC ruling

SC denies to hear appeals in plots case before IHC ruling

SC denies appeals in plot case before IHC ruling. The Supreme Court has agreed to defer hearing appeals against an Islamabad High Court (IHC) restraining order prohibiting the allotment of coveted properties in the federal capital’s upscale areas.

The apex court dismissed a challenge by the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) to the Aug. 20 IHC judgement on Tuesday, after being informed that the high court had sought written responses from the parties concerned.

“We do not believe it is appropriate to continue further in a case where the petitioners have challenged the high court’s interim judgement, as the ruling has been reserved and will be released shortly,” a three-judge bench led by Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked.

“It is necessary to comprehend how a challenge to an interim order can be sustained when the pending subject has been reserved for announcement of the judgement,” the bench stated.

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On Monday, the IHC’s division bench reserved its verdict on the FGEHA’s August poll for assignment of plots in Islamabad’s F-14 and F-15 sectors. The court was hearing identical petitions challenging the ballot’s allocation of 4,723 plots to high-ranking judges and administrators.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, a Supreme Court judge, advised Munir Paracha, an advocate for FGEHA, that his client should have challenged the Islamabad High Court’s order postponing land allotment. However, because the IHC had reserved its decision, the judge continued, the current case had become infructuous.

Justice Shah stated that the petitioner should have brought his complaint to the IHC’s exercise of suo motu jurisdiction in the matter directly to the high court.

Justice Bandial informed the petitioners that they could appeal the allotments either intra-court or to the apex court following the IHC’s decision.

The Supreme Court stated in its judgement that the petitioners argued that the Aug. 20 IHC interim order went beyond the disagreement before it and that by doing so, the high court exercised suo motu authority to address topics unrelated to the case.

The petitioners contended that the IHC lacked the authority to act suo motu. The FGEHA petitioned the top court to vacate the Aug 20 IHC judgement suspending allotments to judicial officers serving or having served in the high court and Islamabad District Courts.

The IHC not only sent the case to a larger bench for further consideration, but also expressed amazement that almost every judicial officer of the capital’s District Courts was a beneficiary of the ballot for assignment of plots in the F-14 and F-15 sectors. This casts doubt on their ability to adjudicate petitions brought before them by concerned land owners, the court stated.

The high court determined that there was a conflict of interest because the plots were given away at significantly cheaper prices than market rates. As a result, each beneficiary has a financial stake.

Additionally, the bench remarked, the list includes judicial personnel who had been fired for misbehaviour or corruption.

The appeal noted that the petitioners had not contested the acquisition of the land before the high court.

The high court raised issues in its Aug 20 ruling that were not addressed by the petitioners and for which no prayer was made in the writ petition, the appeal stated.

“This equates to the exercise of suo motu jurisdiction, which the high court lacks. The high court may exercise its writ jurisdiction under Article 199 on the application of either an aggrieved party or any other person. “The Aug. 20 decree is manifestly unconstitutional,” the appeal stated. It maintained that the FGEHA was a public institution dedicated to providing housing for federal government employees and retirees, but had been vilified in the media by vested interests.

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Housing agency appeals IHC verdict on Islamabad allotments

Housing agency appeals IHC verdict on Islamabad allotments

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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The IHC has directed the CDA to remove roadblocks on Malot Road

The IHC has directed the CDA to remove roadblocks on Malot Road

The IHC has directed the CDA to remove roadblocks on Malot Road. According to the reports, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the city government to remove barricades on the road to Malot. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) was tasked with removing barriers constructed by a private housing association.

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The directive was issued in response to a petition filed by Malot residents stating that a private housing plan blocked their access to a key route by erecting obstacles and encroaching on the adjoining area.

According to the petition, the housing society also restricted a secondary access route to the main road, posing significant difficulties for residents. Justice Minallah requested that the CDA and the district administration address the issues and remove the encroachment on the roadway.

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According to reports, Malot is a suburb in Islamabad occupied by Gilgit Baltistan residents who were displaced following the Atta Abad Lake disaster. The CDA provided the route to Malot. However, it has been obstructed by a private housing plan.

 

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Overhaul funding for Pindi tehsils at Rs192 million: Chief Justice of the IHC

Chief Justice of the IHC: Overhaul funding for Pindi tehsils at Rs192 million

Seven tehsils in Pindi will receive Rs192 million in uplift funding. Justice Athar Minallah, the Chief Justice of the IHC, suspended the assignment of plots to the capital’s judiciary in sectors F-14 and F-15 on Friday, claiming that the award of land was an apparent conflict of interest.

The court also sent a notice to the attorney general, requesting an explanation from the Ministry of Housing and Works about the policy of allocating plots to a select group of people. The case will be heard on September 13 by a larger bench.

It should note that the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) allotted plots to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and other judges of the superior judiciary, as well as bureaucrats such as Dr. Shahzad Arbab and Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, after retiring from government service were hired as special assistants to the prime minister, during the balloting.

Property owners in Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan in Islamabad district filed a suit against land acquisition. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case.

”Federal Government Employees Housing Authority recently held a poll for assignment of plots in F-14 and F-15,” Justice Minallah said during the case’s hearing. Almost every judicial officer of the district courts of Islamabad, who is meant to resolve and rule on the claims and rights of the affected land owners, is a benefactor, accordilandownersist.”

“It raises serious questions about conflict of interest because the plots are given to the beneficiaries at substantially lower prices than current market rates, and thus each beneficiary has a financial interest,” he said, adding that “amazingly, the list also includes those judicial officers who have been dismissed based on misconduct or corruption.”

Justice Minallah pointed out that one of the beneficiaries was a judicial officer who was convicted and sentenced by this court and whose conviction was later supported by the august Supreme Court in the case of a kid named Tayyaba. Similarly, the IHC chief justice noted that “the judicial official who was discharged on corruption accusations in the fraudulent degree [Axact] case is also an allottee.”

According to the FGEHA’s records, three sacked additional district and sessions judges — Pervaizul Qadir Memon, Raja Khurram Ali Khan, and Jahangir Awan — were each awarded a kanal plot in F-14 and F-15, while two former civil judges, Adnan Jamali and Amir Khalil, were each given 14 marla plots.

Mr Memon was fired from his job in February 2018 after accepting a bribe to acquit MS Axact Shoaib Sheikh, the company’s CEO. In the Tayyaba torture case, Raja Khurram Ali Khan was convicted and discharged from the army. At the same time, Jahangir Awan was fired last year for firing in the air during a brawl on Constitution Avenue. The IHC management also fired civil judges Jamali and Khalil.

According to the court’s ruling, the names of judicial personnel under investigation for apparent incompetence are also among the beneficiaries. How could the government reward a public servant who had been fired for corruption or misbehavior, Justice Minallah wondered.

While the judges of the IHC turned down the FGEHA’s offer of plots, the judges of the lower courts made applications, and the authority assigned plots to each judge during balloting on August 17, 2021. The FGEHA, interestingly, allocated plots to IHC officials whose appointments had been declared unlawful by the Supreme Court.

The IHC and the district courts in Islamabad were flooded with lawsuits against the FGEHA, according to Justice Minallah. Almost every judicial officer in the district judiciary has a considerable financial interest in the authority. Citing a Supreme Court decision in the matter of Anwar and others v. The Crown [PLD 1955 FC 185] said that “no judge can be a judge in his suit.”

Justice Minallah cited another case, ‘Federation of Pakistan v. Muhammad Akram Shaikh, etc.,’ in which the Supreme Court stated that “when a judge’s pecuniary or financial interest, no matter how small, is likely to be affected as a direct result of the decision, in any case, he is ipso facto, disqualified from hearing it…”

“It is evident that judicial officers’ pecuniary interests are created when he or she, as the case may be, becomes a beneficiary of the extraordinary benefit of receiving state land at prices much lower than market rates,” the IHC chief judge stated. The impression of a dispute of interest is enough to undermine plaintiffs’ faith in the legal system.”

“It commenced registration under membership drive Phase-II on ‘age-wise seniority basis’ for federal government employees and other designated groups in April 2015 as per authorized quota policy and eligibility requirements of the scheme,” the FGEHA said in response to a news item published earlier.

Until May 2016, nearly 80,000 members were registered, including government employees from BS-1 to BS-22 and superior and lower court judges, according to the FGEHA. In addition, allottees whose names were included in the balloting of plots for sectors F-14/15 were issued consent letters in 2016, even though the balloting was only to assign them plot numbers.

The housing authority also stated that 1,704 F-14/15 category-1 (BS-20 to BS-22) allottees, including judges, were allotted plots through random computerized balloting on 17-08-2021 in a transparent manner. At the same time, 1,690 category-2 (BS-18 to BS-19) allottees and 1,329 allottees in category-3 (BS-16 to BS-17) were also allotted plots.

The housing authority stated that all allotments were made following the FGEHA’s approved criteria/policy. Further, that balloting for allocating plot numbers to bona fide allottees was performed utilizing a transparent computerized balloting system.

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Government and private parties have encroached on the protected national park, according to IHC

Government and private parties have encroached on the protected national park, according to IHC

Government and private parties have encroached on the protected National Park, according to the IHC. In contrast, the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and civic agencies have turned a deaf ear to these major environmental issues.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked at a hearing on a petition filed by academician Prof Zahid Baig Mirza through lawyers Mohammad Aslam Khaki and Afzal Siddiqui. “The National Park region has been illegally encroached upon by different private persons and government institutions, including the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy,” the court was told.

A court orders the removal of encroachments. Encroachment on the National Park is considered disrespectful by the court, and violators are subject to prosecution. Government and private parties have encroached on the protected National Park

IWMB chairperson Rina Saeed Khan was asked if she had taken any steps to remove the encroachments and if any legal action had been taken against those responsible, including the leaders of government entities who had allegedly chosen to ignore the law. She also said tha , IWMB and civic agencies have turned a deaf ear to these major environmental issues.

When Ms. Khan said no, Chief Justice Minallah expressed his disappointment, saying, “inaction on the part of public functionaries is beyond comprehension and deplorable because their conduct exposes future generations to catastrophic consequences owing to environmental degradation and climate change.”

The court ordered the Capital Development Authority and the IWMB to “immediately fulfill their respective statutory tasks by detecting and removing illegal encroachments in the defined region of the National Park.”

The court further ordered the interior secretary to help these officials restore the designated area of the National Park and hold those who have breached its notified boundaries accountable.

“No one is above the law,” Chief Justice Minallah declared.

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