IHC declares plot schemes for judges, bureaucrats as unconstitutional

In a landmark decision, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday has declared the plots schemes launched for judges and bureaucrats in some specific housing sectors of the federal capital as unconstitutional.

According to the details, a two-judge bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani declared the federal government’s new policy regarding allotment of government plots as unconstitutional and ordered the secretary housing to place the court’s verdict before the federal cabinet in two weeks’ time.

The court declared the schemes of sectors F12, G12, F14 and 15 of Islamabad unconstitutional, illegal and against public interest.

The judgment read that, “The scheme intended to be launched in sectors F-12, G-12, F-14 and F-15, are in derogation of public interest and violative of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people at large. Thus they are illegal, unconstitutional, void and without jurisdiction”.

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“The state’s land is not for the country’s elite, but for the masses,” said the judges while reading out the verdict reserved earlier. “Public office holders cannot create any interest in their own favour in derogation to the welfare and wellbeing of the people,” the judges noted.

“As elected and chosen representatives they are only empowered to frame and formulate policies in the best interest of the people at large and in the public interest, rather than providing opportunities to a few powerful elite to make windfall gains in derogation to public interest,” the 58-page judgement read.

“A scheme launched by the FGEHA, pursuant to a policy framed by the Federal Government, will withstand Constitutional scrutiny if it benefits the people at large rather than benefiting and enriching a few powerful classes,” the ruling stated.

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The court ordered the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) to not make any schemes in violation of the Constitution. Moreover, the court directed the ministry of housing and works to place this judgment before the federal cabinet within two weeks to formulate policies under the FGEHA Act or the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance.

It instructed that the federal government would formulate policies for development of sectors F-12, G-12, F-14 and F-15 solely for the benefit of the general public and in public interest, rather than enriching a few elites at the expense of the exchequer.

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