IHC seeks replies over 'illegal housing societies' in Islamabad

The court lashes out at CDA for inaction, questions why it’s quick to act against the poor but not the rich


Saqib Bashir May 17, 2020
The court lashes out at CDA for inaction, questions why it’s quick to act against the poor but not the rich

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah sought details of all illegal housing societies of state agencies and departments, directing the authority to submit reports of projects initiated or completed without the approval of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

In a written order on Sunday the Islamabad High Court (IHC) said the lawyer could not satisfy the court regarding the provision of the Constitution of Pakistan under which the Pakistan Navy could establish a commercial housing society.

The IHC CJ sought a reply from Pakistan Naval Farms for running commercial housing societies in violation of law. The IHC sought an affidavit regarding the commercial use of naval farms.

The court described the role of government agencies in violating the law as worrisome. The writ order observed that institutional housing societies were a classic example of conflict of interest.

Institutions that are supposed to enforce the law are instead violating it, stated the writ order, while noting that it is apparent that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is helpless in the matter.

The court expressed its disappointment at the situation of law enforcement in the country, and remarked that citizens lose their hard earned money in housing societies.

CapitalÔÇÖs illegal housing schemes anger court

The court noted that illegal housing societies are run by various institutions - either directly or indirectly - on commercial basis.

Most housing societies of state institutions and departments were initiated in violation of the CDA Ordinance 1960, noted the court seeking a reply from the CDA.

The court asked in the writ order why the CDA had not taken action against illegal housing societies till date.

The court inquired why the CDA, which is quick to take action against small shopkeepers, was unable to take action against the privileged class.

It remarked that CDA has no qualms in taking action against the underprivileged, but the authority has given a free rein to different institutions, and departments in the name of illegal housing societies to commit fraud with the public.

The court directed that a copy of the order be sent to the chief commissioner, the CDA chairperson and the home secretary.

The illegal work is going on in an area of 1,400 square miles of the federal capital, observed the court.

According to the court, the government and the regulators are being facilitators by ignoring the law. The court held the board, the chairperson and the members of the CDA responsible, while also holding the federal government complicit.

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