SC to take up plea on allotment of plots to bureaucrats, judges

Justice Bandial-led bench will hear petitions against IHC orders tomorrow


Hasnaat Malik October 30, 2021
PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court will take up the petitions against the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) restraining orders regarding allotment of plots to judges, bureaucrats and government employees in the capital’s F-14 and 15 sectors, for hearing on Monday (tomorrow).

Through their counsel, Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, several serving and retired federal government servants have filed two petitions against the IHC’s August 20 and September 13 orders, requesting the apex court to restrain the IHC from passing orders of similar nature against the petitioners.

Earlier, the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) had also filed petitions through Akram Sheikh advocate against these IHC orders. On Monday, a three-judge apex court bench, led by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah will hear all these petitions.

It is learnt that several SC judges are beneficiary of recent balloting regarding the allotment of plots in F-14 and F-15 sectors. Earlier, in similar nature of matter, six judges had recused themselves from hearing the case related to scrapping a federal government housing scheme in F-14 and F-15 sectors of the federal capital.

Also read: SC approached in allotment of plots matter

The petitions contended that the petitioners, being serving and retired government servants, were the allottees of plots/land in sectors F-14-F-15, Islamabad, and had deposited the required amount for long with the FGEHA in lieu of their allotted plots.

They also submitted that the question as to whether the land could have been acquired for the FGEHA was not the subject matter of the writ petition, whereas the IHC’s order on Sept 13, 2021 observed otherwise and travelled beyond their prayers even which was not the issue raised before the court.

“The petitioners are seriously prejudiced by the impugned order dated Sept 13 passed by the learned division bench of the IHC being violative in law,” said a petition.

The petition further stated that prior to 2009, the FGEHA offered housing to employees for specified scheme on the basis of their age and seniority in government service in its scheme-specific drives.

The FGEHA, it added, at the time of launching a new scheme, would advertise a membership drive for the particular scheme, and employees were allotted housing within that scheme and seniority of members subscribing to the scheme specific drives was determined on the basis of date of birth or the seniority within the relevant government cadre.

The petition further stated that while exercising the jurisdiction in the instant matter, “the high court, with due respect, has passed the order which amounts to judicial overreach, thus requires intervention” by the apex court.

Also read: IHC stays allotment of plots to judges

“Constitutional jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in vacuum when particularly all contentious issues regarding acquisition and public interest/public purpose adequately resolved earlier with admirable clarity by the larger bench of this court reported judgment 2021,” it said.

“The high court failed to comprehend while exercising the jurisdiction that there must exist a dispute before exercising judicial power by an aggrieved person within the meaning of Article 199 of the Constitution and further this is an essential pre requisite to invoke the jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution, thus impugned order is not sustainable.”

The petition stated that the IHC could not reassert or reassess the proceedings on such point which already decided by this court and those principles had further been elaborated through various judgments of the apex court.

“The high court failed to understand and comprehend the concept and application of aggrieved or aggrieved person given under Article 199 of the Constitution,” the petition contended.

The petition said that the high court went beyond the jurisdiction given under the Constitution and acted against the principles of oversight jurisdiction enshrined under Article 199 of the Constitution and pronounced by this court.

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