By Khalid Hussain-
The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan gave a clear message on Tuesday to the petitioners seeking reversal of land acquisition for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Housing Society to either accept the land sharing formula approved by the executive board of the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) or approach the district court for adjudication.
This will allow the district administration to vacate the advese possession of land in Mozahs Tamma and Mohrian of Islamabad that has long-delayed SCBA Housing Society to proceed. Earlier this month, the court stopped an operation by the Islamabad administration to vacate possession of land acquired by the Housing Foundation of Pakistan in for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Housing Society housing society.
The FGEHF had acquired 8,194 kanals and 15 marlas for the development of the housing society for the federal government employees and the members of the SCBA. However, it could not acquire possession of land.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilan ordered the establishment of a housing society for the lawyers community in 2012. It was decided that 50 percent plots will be given to lawyers community and 50 percent will be allocated to government employees. However, this order could not be implemented and the SCBA Lawyers approached the SC. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif again issued instructions in 2015 for the establishment of the SCBA housing colony but authorities failed yet again to implement the orders. Protests broke out in September 2017 when the government tried to take possession of the land. The Supreme Court ordered in August 2018 to take possession of the land. These ordered were implemented by the Islamabad administration.
Petitions were filed against the action in the Supreme Court. Advocate Naeem Bukhari pleaded against the forced land acquisition before a two-member bench of the SC comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Maqbool Baqar heard the case.
challenging the authority of the Prime Minister to order a housing project without authorization of the cabinet. He argued that housing colony for lawyers or federal government employees was not a public purpose and the acquisition was therefore, illegal.
SCBA President Amanullah Kanrani alleged the local members of the National Assembly from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as well as the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) were the real protectors of the mafia that does not want the FGEHF to complete the housing society project. “ Not only are they involved in illegal occupation of land but they also do not let the government do its job”, he alleged adding, “all the petitioners in the SC are land grabbers.”
The formula of land sharing is an incentive to the land owners for an amicable resolution of the issues. The court is set to decide the case on the next hearing set for November 11, 2019.
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