Myth busted: Chief justice also got a plot

Published: November 25, 2010
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Justice Chaudhry allotted plot soon after 2002 elections

Justice Chaudhry allotted plot soon after 2002 elections

ISLAMABAD: The accountability body of the Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has received an official report from the Housing Ministry that shatters an eight-year-old perception that the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) has never been given a piece of land by the government.

CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was allotted a one-kanal plot during former President General Pervez Musharraf’s reign – which he owns to date in Islamabad’s residential sector G-14/4.

Though it was recently reported that a number of judges – including several former chief justices of Pakistan such as Riaz Ahmed Sheikh, Ajmal Mian, Irshad Hassan Khan and others – had been allotted plots in Islamabad since 1996, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was the only name not seen in the lists.

It was also widely disseminated through the media that the incumbent chief justice had not been given a plot. However, an allotment to the CJP was made soon after the 2002 general elections – which took place after the Supreme Court had endorsed the October 12, 1999, coup and gave sweeping mandate to General Pervez Musharraf to amend the Constitution. A list compiled by the housing ministry of plot allotments to bureaucrats, judges and journalists spread over hundreds of pages, available with The Express Tribune, shows that Justice Chaudhry, then a Supreme Court judge, was given a one kanal plot on Dec 18, 2002 – six days after his 54th birthday.

The official documents further reveal that the then CJP Sheikh Riaz Ahmed was also allotted a plot on Dec 17, 2002, while two judges of the Lahore High Court, Justice Faqeer Mohammad Khokar and Justice Mumtaz Ali Mirza were also allotted plots in G-14 on the same day.

The report about the allotment of plots was submitted by the housing ministry after the Public Accounts Committee chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had issued directives to furnish a list of all those who were allotted plots in Islamabad since 1996.

Interestingly, Nisar did not seek a list of such allotments from 1991 when Nawaz Sharif, his party’s chief, had first become the prime minister. He also did not direct the ministry of defence to submit a list of land allotted to military generals who have been regularly getting agricultural land in the fertile areas of the country, the Seraiki region in particular, at a rate of under Rs180 per acre.

One official was of the opinion that Nisar did not issue such instructions as he has a military background himself. His father was recruited during the colonial period and his brother Lt. Gen. Iftikhar Ali Khan served as defence secretary during Sharif’s government.

However, the papers presented before the PAC reveal that, unlike the other 15 judges of the SC, Justice Chaudhry did not take a second plot in Islamabad. This despite the fact that under the revised policy of the government, approved by then prime minister Shaukat Aziz, he and his colleagues were entitled to two plots. CJ Chaudhry also did not apply for a plot under the curious recent scheme of the “Prime Minister Assistance Package”, meant exclusively for judges – unlike the 17 other judges of the Supreme Court who got plots through this scheme.

The present government is said to have also offered to allot a second plot to the CJP – but he has declined the offer. At the time of his refusal, it was widely reported in the media that he did not own any plots in Islamabad – a ‘fact’ that has now, given the official list of the housing ministry, been rebuffed.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (69)

  • nbn
    Nov 25, 2010 - 8:45AM

    god please help us to be right individually then we will be in position to make pakistan rightRecommend

  • Yasir
    Nov 25, 2010 - 9:00AM

    Who is surprised? Please raise hands.Recommend

  • Alina Lodhi
    Nov 25, 2010 - 9:11AM

    Now that is some news! Comes from an experienced reporter, in no way one will expect something less. Good work, Mr. Rauf Klasra.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 25, 2010 - 9:32AM

    This is “Old True Story”, simply show the readers a colorful picture of the house built on this plot. Yes, he will refuse to accept any favor because he wants all so the eyes are fixed on the highest office with all black and white powers (a bit very anxious person). The Rule Of Judges and its Acolytes (Neutral Set-Up) is talk of the town.Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Nov 25, 2010 - 9:54AM

    Great!!Recommend

  • asif mian
    Nov 25, 2010 - 10:33AM

    there should not be special quotas of any type for any selected class of the society Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2010 - 10:35AM

    I am not surprised!

    Everyone is sailing in the same boat. Mark my word the current CJP will join PML (N) in one way or the other in the future, he clearly has political aspirations.

    Gone are the days of Justice Patel & co (real Judges, not Actors).

    The current judges have cost Pakistan a lot, all those people are finding it out in shape of corruption, inflation, governmental incompetence, fiscal mis-management, taxes & Law & Order, in short Shame democracy!!!!!!Recommend

  • zarlashta
    Nov 25, 2010 - 10:53AM

    he got the plot in terms of a Government policy….why such a hue and cry about individuals getting plots then? Why not scrap the policy? I don’t understand why are people objecting to plots for Civilian Government employees only? why not object to the plots and agricultural land being doled out to the military officers?

    I am also at a loss to understand why are stories relating to plots being published in the media? If there is any thing wrong with it, just challenge the policy in the superior judiciary and get the policy quashed if it is discriminatory or violative of any laws or principles. Recommend

  • Saad D
    Nov 25, 2010 - 10:54AM

    So what if the CJ was given a plot of land by the government?!

    If there is a policy according to which he was allocated a plot, what seems to be the problem? Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:08AM

    It is our God given right as Pakistani Muslims to lie cheat and be corrupt. Recommend

  • Z Ali
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:14AM

    Here comes the next episode of Tom & Jerry.The show is on…Recommend

  • Karim Khan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:31AM

    First, Yasir I really enjoyed your comment “who’s surprised, please raise hands” LOl. Yes, few would be surprised.

    And kudos to our media for revealing the true state of affairs! Recommend

  • Shahid Mahmood
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:33AM

    yes, it could metter a lot if he received this plot after Re-joining. allotment of plots is no news. Irregularities are so regular and punctual in Pakistan that it looks a regular part of the system. either live with it or get up for it, no third option, just think over Imran’s option, he is leading by example.Recommend

  • Farooq
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:58AM

    I dont think it is illigal. But making it a talk of town is not new by our media.Recommend

  • parvez
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:00PM

    This allotment is as per rules, but he could have said no. Which he did some time later for a bigger cause and became famous.Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 12:01PM

    We want Inquilab (Reforms) just as Khomeni did in Iran, Mao Zedong did in China. We require a complete sweep in our day to day affairs because we have forgotten our All Mighty Allah and the Propher Muhammad’s teaching.Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 12:08PM

    So what? Still he is much better than Zardari and Gillani co.Recommend

  • Oh Paleese
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:19PM

    How is this corruption or illegal? He has been given one plot as per the government’s policy/ What is wrong in that? I believe a second plot was illegal as per the said policy, and as pointed out in the piece itself, he refused a second plot? Sensationalized and silly reporting Not expected from ET.Recommend

  • Oh Paleese
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:21PM

    In fact as per the report itself, even the second plot would have been legal as per the ‘revised policy’.Recommend

  • Zafar Ullah
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:32PM

    No doubt, the resources of Pakistan are in the tyrannic grip of establishment. Whether it is military generals or judges or any civil officer, they all form the elite who is plundering and common man finds no share despite being deserve e. Anyhow, shahbash to Rauf for reporting such a story which may disillusioned to many.Recommend

  • Riaz Butt
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:57PM

    The CJ does whatever suits to him. He can be PRO judge if it suits to him, he can re-appoint Ramday after his retirement if it suits to him, he can keep Sharifs cases locked if it suits to him, he does not take suo moto against the dons of sugar mafiya if it suits to him and list goes on… Recommend

  • Mushtaque Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:02PM

    The Land of the Pure for the impure !

    Why not an allotment policy for the landless ?

    Land for the judges, land for the generals, land for the bureacrats, land for the mighty and the rich, land for the haves. Another fifty years and there will be no land to allot ! End of bribery through lucrative plots of land.

    The have-nots of Pakistan will certainly hold the land owners of Pakistan by the throat. The D-day is approaching fast !

    M. AhmedRecommend

  • Sengathir
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:12PM

    Oh common! let us not pretend to be shocked and surprised. Corruption and favouritsm is in the culture of sub-continent….Recommend

  • Zuhair
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:25PM

    /What’s the fuss about – he got it out of the government policy. He never denied it publicly. So where is the problem? Why does it makes the headline news? Agenda carrying? Anybody?Recommend

  • A
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:27PM

    Whats the big deal…. Why have these plots become so important all of a sudden. They are not even in a developed area. If you have to talk about plots why dont talk about those given to ppl In media who don’t even work for government. Even Rauf Klasra got one..!!!Recommend

  • Zeeshan Qazi
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:28PM

    If the plot was alloted as per policy, whats the harm. Better rework a just policy. Recommend

  • qaiser
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:49PM

    In my opinion any such schemes should be open for all the masses of the country not onlyu the Judges, Generals or the journalists…….otherwise no such schemes should be luanched at all….Recommend

  • hassnain jamil
    Nov 25, 2010 - 1:57PM

    this is great news it tell us no one is holly cowRecommend

  • Muhammad wajid
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:12PM

    This allotment is as per government service rules but what for those who are unemployed because having no job or who can not adjust themselves in corrupt system or self-employed homeless tax-payers. Why a special treat whom govt has provided job security on tax payers money or for journalists ?Recommend

  • Copper
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:15PM

    Plot was allotted according to rules (which should be abolished). He refused to take second plot despite offered twice; all others have accepted second plot, so he still seems to be best of the lot. But well done Klasra, he even reported himself among those who got plots! Recommend

  • Arif
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:30PM

    I am also failed to understand if the allocation of land in Islamabad is as per the policy, than why there are newspaper stories on it. Recommend

  • Saadat Hassan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:35PM

    nothing to worry….

    sab theek hou jay ga…Recommend

  • lota6177
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:50PM

    Sheikh Sahab aap bhiee???Recommend

  • Khalid Haleemi
    Nov 25, 2010 - 3:06PM

    This nation worships personalities only.Building institutions is vital. Who authorised our Rulers to distribute lands like old BADSHAHS on thier own consent ??????Recommend

  • Fayyaz Haider
    Nov 25, 2010 - 3:21PM

    Very strange. Salary of civil servents (including judges) and their prerequisits including gratuity, pension and plot allotment are always decided by the government and duly approved by the president and printed in official gazette. This practice is followed all over the world. If CJP got a plot I request Mr. Klasra to please mention whether it was under the policy or not.

    Surprisingly when 11 missing person case is underway and military intellegence agencies are held answerable to the court a report in such manner reported to the public. Recommend

  • Sheru
    Nov 25, 2010 - 3:36PM

    Disappointing – Not that the CJ got a plot but that ET actually had this story published. Sensationalisation is what set ET apart from some of its other competitors but I guess thats a cost you have to pay when you have the same mindset creeping into your organisation! I have respect for the reporter but stories for the heck of attention spoil the image of newspapers that takes forever to establish in the first place!Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 4:37PM

    Sir. Thank god you has the courage to speak it out. The chief justice is not an angel from heaven as all of us are simple greeedy human. Your comment that “if a journalist compromise on truth then he is a mairsi: is a my wallpost. At last allah bless you and your family.

    But last thing the credit of all your acheiment goes to your mother.Recommend

  • Fayyaz Haider
    Nov 25, 2010 - 5:15PM

    O God! CJP also take salary from the government.Recommend

  • RIAZ ALAM KHAN
    Nov 25, 2010 - 5:38PM

    Plot taking is not illegal, its the normal practice………… if he took plot before judgement then one can questioned.Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 5:49PM

    So what if the CJ got a plot? Isn’t he a human being with human requirements. We should not begrudge a one kanal plot to a man who could have got half of Islamabad had he sold his conscience. The fact that he is dependent on one kanal plot in an obscure sector speaks of nothing but his honesty. Kudos to the CJ -The good face of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Abid Rauf Orakzai
    Nov 25, 2010 - 6:43PM

    statement of rule of law and man of principle is a myth not reality in pakistan. Behind the scene character of many in this country is not enviable. Chief justice has shown strong character after 9 march but we need to forget the past of many personalities, otherwise the little hope of survivle of this country will fade away.Recommend

  • Gulkhaiz
    Nov 25, 2010 - 8:11PM

    What is the big deal if CJP has taken a plot according to the rules? Although in the same breath Rauf writes that CJP refused second plot. Consequently I donot see any myth that has been busted. Moreover all informed citizens know that he is a normal guy who puts in his best to fulfil his obligations. He is man of honour and dignity. As a normal professional no fancy stories and myths are woven around him. CJP is workng as a govt emploee and deserves all the perks and priveilges associated with it. As long as as he earns what is lawful it is commendable.
    Rauf is just trying to sensationalize a minor procedural issue. Lets avoid converting minor govt activites into earth shaking events and reports.Specially a man of Raufs standing should not lower is professional standard . Recommend

  • Kehkishan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 9:39PM

    Koi batlay k hum batlain kiaaaaaaa..Nawaz Sharif Knows that? who ll compnstae Naeem Bukhari who was beaten to write a letter to state some truths…PM was wrong who is right? I am confused help help helpRecommend

  • Ubi Ali
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:26PM

    against all my friends my perception was that Iftikhar Muhammad chuadry is not as “big or fair” as people are making him;

    i dont know how many of you have seen them killing justice by these so called “justice givers” in practical, believe you me you will scratch your head just go to the city courts of Karachi as observer and watch the drama there,give 1000 rupees note and take a new revised date for you case;wake up people these so called “firshtas” under black coats are even worst then common man;they all need money show them money they will teach you literally how to play with the “angraiz bahaduar’s” made law,
    where the 3 1/2 inches Aitzaz ahsan has gone who was chanting “riasat hogi maa kay jaisi”, wake up again people;

    1.what about the refrence sent against iftikhar muhammad chudry?
    2.if 7 judges are charged with ” contempt of court” for taking oath then did not current cjp took oath? and why he is diffrent from others. Recommend

  • Ali Hassan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:56PM

    Now this is investigative journalism Rauf Bhai.

    But things have changed, now he is a changed man after he said NO to Musharaff, (there was also a story about his son getting preferential treatment during his induction in Police or other CSS stuff, I think that story was also unearthed by you or Ansar Bhai), but now he has changed, because people change and we should appreciate it.

    Churchill changed parties.
    Jinnah changed parties and his Hindu Muslim unity Ambassadorship.
    Nelson Mandela changed his hard line approach.
    Many Sahabas changed from hard line disbeliever to perfect believers.

    People change, before his refusal to Musharaf he was a different man, now he is a different man.Recommend

  • Yousaf
    Nov 26, 2010 - 12:19AM

    wah wah… wah. wah… and he even didn’t try to return that…. Economy is torn because of this. Recommend

  • Talat
    Nov 26, 2010 - 7:42AM

    Judges get plots, what is wrong with that. People of this country should forgive him for this mistake too, if it was a mistake.Recommend

  • Fardad
    Nov 26, 2010 - 8:19AM

    No myth busted in CJ getting a plot. It is too trivial a matter. He is the good face of Pakistan. Such humanly pursuits do not belittle the grand task he is doing of giving the people a hope in the judicial system of Pakistan.Recommend

  • khan
    Nov 26, 2010 - 8:52AM

    i think plot suit him, he is the man. Recommend

  • SA
    Nov 26, 2010 - 9:52AM

    So what’s the news and whats the sensation? Recommend

  • M.Irshad Jan
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:30AM

    Look forward to the day when this arbitrary power of rulers is finished.Recommend

  • Amanullah
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:51AM

    i will agree to this that he is much better than Zardari and Gillani co.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:53AM

    Its not a big deal that CJ has been allotted a 1 kanal plot. If you have to make noise, then raise your voice aganist the government where our PM announces residential plots for Parliamentarians who are already RICH and hold lot of property (legal and illegal) … Instead of this PM must live with his party promise to award houses to poor people … The slogan “Roti, Kapra or Makan” is no more valid for common masses now … It truly belongs to “POLITICIENS” … Wake up “AWAM”Recommend

  • Masud Ahmed
    Nov 26, 2010 - 11:53AM

    The plot was given by Musharraf for allowing him to amend the constituion. It is a big irony that this so called Independent Judiciary allows a dictator to amend the constitution single handedly and undermines the joint effort of elected parliament to get rid of atrocitities done to the Constitution by the dictator. Enough is enough! People of Pakistan should awaken from their deep slumber and should not be mislead by the propagenda of a group of people who have their own interests that this is independt judiciary. They are infact slaves of their own egos and own interests. They are the greatest cheats!Recommend

  • M.S
    Nov 26, 2010 - 11:55AM

    WHO CARES! OTHER MORE IMP TASKS & MATTERS ARE AT HAND! WAKE UP PPL AS THE COUNTRY IS GOING DOWN THE DRAIN!Recommend

  • ahmed amir uddin
    Nov 26, 2010 - 12:01PM

    Actually Musharraf is Right Man for Pakistan.
    He has got big support all over the muslim world in USA,Uk,australia and many other
    True Nationalist can guid us way to revolution Inshallah
    Musharaf
    Only Pakistan.Recommend

  • hassan
    Nov 26, 2010 - 1:28PM

    No need to comment about this.Recommend

  • ik
    Nov 26, 2010 - 1:35PM

    God Save our country. Recommend

  • Salim
    Nov 26, 2010 - 1:40PM

    Lo and behold! Recommend

  • Fayyaz
    Nov 26, 2010 - 3:09PM

    Musharraf a true nationalist coverdly sitting outside Pakistan.Recommend

  • omer
    Nov 26, 2010 - 4:35PM

    it is not unusual or wrong to get a plot being alloted by the goverment, however in this land of pure the unusual thing in that people get favors (read CJP plus lots of retired Generals) and than when streams become dry they turn against the very person who granted then favors. if these holly cows and men of principle are really what they are being portrayed as, why not SPEAK UP and SAY NO when you are getting favors ?Recommend

  • Waqas
    Nov 26, 2010 - 6:32PM

    I agree with OmerRecommend

  • Oh Paleese
    Nov 26, 2010 - 7:07PM

    @ Omer- Didnt the CJP say no when he was offered the second plot?Recommend

  • SAM
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:38PM

    So is the CJP going to take sou motu action against himself for not being honest with the people of Pakistan??Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Nov 27, 2010 - 1:31AM

    Hmmm …. he got only one plot?

    You know thats not exactly true. While the media, civil society, etc. were hell bent on destroying Musharraf and his government, they missed to report what was in the reference filled against the CJ.

    If I remember correctly there was an allegation that the CJ got a plot alloted in Karachi. The reference even had scanned copies of the affidavit that Mr. Chaudry submitted in which he stated that “he had not been alloted any other plot by the government and should be alloted a plot in Karachi”.Recommend

  • babar
    Nov 27, 2010 - 4:21PM

    So let me get it straight. CJ Iftikhar was alloted a plot. In G-14.

    Arent all senior govt employees alloted a plot.

    As I see it, the man refused further plots. Twice.

    Lets hang him. He is letting the standards of corruption down.Recommend

  • Shabbir
    Nov 27, 2010 - 7:29PM

    Yes there is the news.The chief justice is NO Angel…!Recommend

  • salman khan
    Nov 28, 2010 - 8:54AM

    now he is trying to get a house in E7 or F6/3Recommend

  • Ali Yaqoob
    Nov 28, 2010 - 10:06PM

    Let them all enjoy :)Recommend

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