ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has forwarded a summary to the federal cabinet for allotment of subsidised plots to Chief Election Commissioner Mohammad Jalal Sikandar Sultan, former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief Qamar Zaman and others.
It was disclosed before a division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) during the hearing of the case filed by Mr Sultan and others. Petitioners Mr Sultan, Chaudhry Qamar Zaman, ex-CDA members Ghulam Dastgir, Mohammad Atta, ex-directors Laeeque Shah, Zafar Hussain, Mohammad Ali, Imtiaz Ahmed Vohra, Khalid Khan and former deputy commissioner Malik Zafar Iqbal had served the CDA on deputation. Based on their tenure in the civic agency, they sought subsidised plots.
Their plea was dismissed by a single-member bench in 2012. Subsequently, they filed an intra-court appeal against the order. The appeals filed by the former CDA officials contended that they were entitled to plots but had been denied by the CDA, even though it had accommodated other officers in similar cases.
The CDA took the stance that only officials who worked in the civic agency in or after November 2005 were eligible for plot allotments.
Petitioners say CDA denied them plots despite meeting ‘eligibility’ criteria as deputationists
It reminded the court that the CDA board had laid down the criteria per a Supreme Court judgement and the 2005 Land Disposal Regulation.
According to the CDA counsel Nazir Jawad, these officers were working on deputation; the CDA board denied them subsidised plots and their plea filed against this decision was dismissed by the high court.
He said that the CDA board in the recent past proposed certain conditions, including a fair increase in the price of plots for these officers, and a summary in this regard was sent to the interior minister.
IHC division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz adjourned the hearing of the petition till Nov 16 as the counsel of the contesting parties suggested that the “court ought to wait for the decision on the summary placed before the federal cabinet”.
It may be mentioned that one of the petitioners. Sikandar Sultan. worked in the CDA as ‘Director Land and Rehabilitation’. He is currently heading the election watchdog as the chief election commissioner.
Recently, the Election Commission of Pakistan while referring to a Rs10bn land scam in the civic agency directed CDA Chairman Anwarul Haq to “transfer the CDA members who are working on deputation basis and shuffling of senior officers of CDA general cadre, to post neutral officers with good reputation”.
The petitioners apprised the court that the cut-off date of November 28, 2005, was not prescribed by any statute. On the other hand, officers who joined CDA after November 2005 were given plots even after completion of their six months of service in the authority, they claimed.
They recalled that on August 5, 1986, the federal cabinet approved a scheme for 5,000 houses 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 approval of the prime minister.
They said the policy covered the CDA employees. Many who served in the CDA on deputation also got plots in the residential sector after the CDA board declared those serving in the civic agency on deputation were also eligible for plots in its meeting on November 28, 2005.
Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2023