The Islamabad High Court on Monday ordered that the salaries of Capital Development Authority (CDA) officers including its chairman be withheld until the agency pays arrears to villagers affected by the development of sectors H-16 and I-17.
IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the case, which focuses on overdue compensation payments that the CDA should have made to the affected families.
The CDA member finance told the court that the payment issue had been taken up by the CDA Board, but his response failed to satisfy the court. Justice Siddiqui issued an order under which the salaries of CDA board members, directors and all officer-level staff will be blocked till the payment of dues to the affected people.
During the hearing, Raja Inaam Ameen Minhas, on behalf of the affected people, said that the CDA made prompt payments to influential people, but the poor face an uphill task in getting what is their right.
In January 2009, the CDA acquired 16,000 kanals that belonged to local landlords and farmers. Since then, the civic agency has allegedly only made payments to influential people and denied compensation to others in Kot Kohlian, Noon and Badhana villages.
The affected people moved the Lahore High Court for compensation, which in turn ruled that the CDA make the payments within three months. The CDA appealed the decision, but the courts dismissed the appeal and upheld the old order.
After the CDA failed to comply with the court’s orders on the appeal, the affected people moved a contempt petition in the Islamabad High Court in March 2011.
With additional input from ONLINE
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.