ISLAMABAD: Two aides to the prime minister, judges of the superior judiciary and top bureaucrats are among the successful applicants for allocation of residential plots in Islamabad’s F-14 and F-15 sectors, according to a list posted by the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) on its website after ballot on Tuesday.
Federal Housing Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema chaired the proceedings. Over 4,500 applicants were declared successful.
According to the list, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed has been allotted a plot in Sector F-15/3.
Dr Waqar Masood Khan, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Finance (SAPM), was given a plot in F-15/4, while Dr Shahzad Arbab, the SAPM on Establishment, got a plot in Sector F-14/2. Both of them had applied for plots before their retirement from government service.
Judges of the superior judiciary, as well as those of the subordinate judiciary, and a few journalists have been placed in Category I — plots measuring one kanal.
The allottees include former chief justices Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and Anwar Zaheer Jamali. The latter’s wife, Justice Ashraaf Jahan of the Sindh High Court (SHC), was among the successful applicants as well.
Eight incumbent judges of the apex court featured in the list. They are: Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed, Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Ijazul Hassan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.
Seven retired judges of the Supreme Court were declared successful. They are: Justices Ejaz Afzal Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Malik , Amir Hani Muslim, Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, Rana Mohammad Shamim, Sheikh Najamul Hassan and Riaz Ahmed Khan have also been allotted plots.
Two former directors general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) — Ghalib Bandesha and Bashir Memon — a former inspector general of Islamabad, Tahir Alam, Orya Maqbool Jan, the Secretary to Cabinet Division Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, a number of other federal secretaries and bureaucrats working in BS-22 and 21 are among the allottees.
Six district and sessions judges of Islamabad figure on the list. They are: Kamran Basharat Mufti, Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, Mohammad Bashir, Tahir Mehmood, Wajid Ali and Shahrukh Arjumand.
Nine additional district and sessions judges were declared successful. They are: Abida Sajjad, Rakhshanda Shaheen, Atta Rabbani, Raja Asif Mehmood, Jahangir Awan, Iram Niazi, Faizan Haider, Mohammad Adnan and Zeba Chaudhry.
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.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court had upheld identical petitions against the acquisition of land for the two sectors in his judgement of Oct 2017.
“The entire machinery involved in the acquisition of land through the police force, from the chief commissioner to the land acquisition collector, has a financial interest in the foundation — to get a plot at a price lower than what it would fetch through a transparent sale,” Justice Minallah noted.
“The beneficiaries (of both sectors) are serving or retired officers and employees of federal ministries, divisions, attached departments… judges of the superior courts, i.e. the honourable Supreme Court, all the high courts, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Supreme Court and the Chief Court and Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan, as well as the Federal Shariat Court.”
Criticising the allotment of plots to the judges of Islamabad’s district courts, the judgement said these judges who “would ultimately hear and decide references of the affectees under section 18 of the Acquisition Act, have either already availed the benefit or have applied to the foundation for plots, thus... having a personal financial interest in the cases before them”.
The Supreme Court had, however, set aside the IHC verdict.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021