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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday asked former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, along with other senior bureaucrats, to appear before the court in a matter related to the allotment of subsidised plots.

Mr Chaudhry, who also served as chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), is among a number of bureaucrats seeking subsidised plots in developed plots for services rendered in the authority on deputation.

The other officers include former members administration Ghulam Dastgir and Mohammad Atta, former directors land and rehabilitation Laeeque Shah, Mohammad Jalal Sikandar Sultan, Zafar Hussain and Mohammad Ali, former director planning and evaluation Imtiaz Ahmed Vohra, Khalid Khan and former deputy commissioner Malik Zafar Iqbal.

The appeal filed by the former CDA officials contended that they were entitled to plots but had been denied by the CDA, which had accommodated other similarly placed officers.

It said the CDA had set Nov 28, 2005, as the cut-off date so that officers who were in the CDA before that period were not entitled to plots.

However, this was not prescribed by any statute, and officers who had joined the authority after November 2005 were given plots after completing just six months of service.

It recalled that on Aug 5, 1986, the cabinet had approved a scheme for 5,000 homes for government servants in Islamabad on a self-finance basis. Following talks between the CDA and the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, it was decided in February 2002 that the CDA would provide land for the scheme with the prime minister’s approval.

The appeal said the policy covered CDA employees, and many officials who served on deputation also received plots in residential sectors after the CDA board declared deputationists eligible in its Nov 28, 2005, meeting.

The CDA’s counsel Kashif Ali Malik contended before the IHC division bench that under the criteria, only officials who worked in the CDA in or after November 2005 were eligible for plot allotments. He reminded the court that the CD board had laid down the criteria in accordance with a Supreme Court judgement and the 2005 Land Disposal Regulation.

He said the CDA acted in accordance with earlier SC orders, adding: “The CDA is not in a position to allot land to every deputationist out of the CDA employees’ quota.”

He told the court that a single member bench had rejected the petition.

When the court asked Mr Malik whether any of the appellants were present in the courtroom, he said they were not.

The bench then directed the registrar’s office to “inform the appellant to put up appearance else their appeals may be dismissed for non-prosecution” and adjourned proceedings until a date to be fixed by the registrar’s office.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2018