QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Wednesday declared certain clauses of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Act unconstitutional and null and void.
A BHC bench headed by Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and also comprising Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, Justice Hashim Khan Kakar, Justice Abdul Hameed Baloch and Justice Abdullah Baloch announced the verdict after completing the hearing of a constitutional petition filed by lawyer Kashif Kakar challenging the DHA Act, 2015.
The chief justice read out the verdict after listening to the final arguments from both sides and declared Clauses 2-q, 6b 1-14 and 14b of the Quetta DHA Act, 2015, null and void, saying these clauses were in clash with the Constitution of Pakistan.
The bench also declared the permission granted to the executive board of the Quetta DHA for use of some specific area null and void.
The court also declared the permission granted for acquiring land for the Quetta DHA unconstitutional.
The judgement said that only the federal and provincial governments could acquire land in the interest of the people and the-then government had no authority to grant powers to any government or private institution for acquiring land.
The court said that instead of allowing a government institution, priority was given to a non-governmental institution for acquiring land. The judgement said the legislature had the right to legislate or amend a law but it should not clash with the clauses of the Constitution.
The court said the way legislation was done for the DHA Act shows the incompetence of the then government and members of the assembly.
Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2020