Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has suspended plots allotted to superior court judges, including Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and senior bureaucrats through lucky balloting
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi shared the new on Twitter.
During the proceedings the IHC chief justice reportedly asked how many members were there in F-14 and F-15 who did not get a plot. CJ Minallah also asked if there was a waiting list which showed how the members would get plots.
The IHC CJ reportedly questioned the policy of allotment of plots. “You gave plots to those judges who were fired for corruption,” he said. “Is the policy meant to encourage corruption?” he asked.
The chief justice also asked how were people, who had been waiting for years to get the plots, bypassed in this process.
The chief justice was told during the hearing that the judiciary, journalists, lawyers and officials of autonomous bodies were all given plots under quota system.
“What is the fault of the laborer? Why don’t you give plots to laborers?” Chief Justice Athar Minallah reportedly asked.
Earlier, in August, Justice Athar Minallah had suspended allotment of plots to the capital’s judiciary in sectors F-14 and F-15, observing that this award of land was sheer conflict of interest.
The court had also issued a notice to the attorney general and sought an explanation from the Ministry of Housing and Works on the policy of distribution of plots among a few segments of the society.
He also constituted a larger bench which heard the matter today.
The Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA), 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.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing a petition filed by property owners in villages Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan in Islamabad district against acquisition of their land.
During the hearing of the matter, Justice Minallah remarked: “It has been reported that the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority had recently held a ballot for allotment of plots in F-14 and F-15. The list indicates that virtually every judicial officer of the district courts of Islamabad, who are expected to resolve and adjudicate upon the grievances and rights of the affected land owners, is a beneficiary.”
“It, prima facie, raises serious questions regarding conflict of interest because the plots are given to the beneficiaries at substantially lower prices than the current market rates and thus each beneficiary has financial interest,” he said, adding that, “moreover, astonishingly the list also includes those judicial officers who have been dismissed on account of misconduct or corruption.”