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SC refers CDA, Islamabad police's property dispute to housing ministry

January 08, 2019

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CDA claims that Islamabad police has been illegally occupying its property in the federal capital since 2007. — File
CDA claims that Islamabad police has been illegally occupying its property in the federal capital since 2007. — File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the housing ministry to resolve the issue of the alleged illegal occupation of the Capital Development Authority (CDA)'s property by Islamabad police.

According to CDA — which petitioned the apex court on the matter — a house allocated to a CDA member was first occupied in 2007 to provide residence to the then Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Islamabad. The house has since been in police possession and is currently occupied by the incumbent IGP Islamabad Muhammad Amir Zulfiqar, the CDA alleges.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was told by a CDA official today that at least 200 more quarters have yet to be vacated by the police department.

IGP Zulfiqar, when called to the rostrum by the chief justice, claimed that he was unaware of any such situation, saying: "I have just found this out."

"You came [to the capital] for the Lal Masjid operation and ended up illegally occupying flats," observed the chief justice.

"How will [the country] function if law enforcers who are supposed to obey the laws will break them themselves."

Subsequently, the court disposed off the case and ordered the minister for housing to look into the matter.

In the same hearing, the secretary housing briefed the court on the operation in Karachi to clear illegal occupants from government properties, saying that a committee comprising members of the National Assembly has been formed to oversee the matter.

"Aside from Karachi, there were 563 government properties that were illegally occupied and out of these 516 have been recovered," the housing secretary said.

At this, the top judge remarked that the reason a two-month period was granted in Karachi was due to the law-and-order situation there. The Governor Sindh called me personally for this and [assured] that he is working on the matter in a personal capacity," the chief justice said.