Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah suspended allotment of plots to the capital’s judiciary in sectors F-14 and F-15, observing that this award of land was a conflict of interest, reported Dawn.
The court 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 society.
Justice Athar Minallah was hearing a petition filed by property owners in villages Thalla Syedan and Jhangi Syedan in Islamabad district against the 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 landowners, 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 a financial interest,” said Justice Minallah.
“Moreover, astonishingly the list also includes those judicial officers who have been dismissed on account of misconduct or corruption,” added Justice Minallah.
Justice Minallah observed that the judicial officer who was convicted and sentenced by this court was also one of the beneficiaries.
As per the record of the FGEHA, three sacked additional district and sessions judges — Pervaizul Qadir Memon, Raja Khurram Ali Khan, and Jahangir Awan — were allotted a Kanal plot each in F-14 and F-15 while two former civil judges, Adnan Jamali and Amir Khalil, were given plots measuring 14 marlas each in these sectors.
Last week, two special assistants to the prime minister (SAPM), judges of the superior judiciary, and top bureaucrats were among those who had been allocated residential plots in Islamabad’s F-14 and F-15 sectors.
Judges of the superior judiciary, as well as those of the subordinate judiciary, and a few journalists had been placed in Category I — plots measuring one Kanal.
While the judges of all the provincial high courts have been allotted plots in F-14 and F-15, not a single judge from the Islamabad High Court was among the applicants.