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ISLAMABAD: The federal government employees challenged the Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s judgment on allotment of plots to judges, bureaucrats, and government employees in sectors, F-14 and F-15 of the federal capital.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on February 3, 2022, declared the “Revised Policy” of the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) regarding allotment of plots to judges, bureaucrats, and government employees as unconstitutional. The identical petitions had moved the IHC against the FGEHF and the federal government policy for the allotment of plots in Sectors, F-14 and F-15.

Advocate Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar on Wednesday filed a petition on behalf of the government employees. The petitioners submitted that jurisdiction exercised by the learned High Court declaring the criteria or revised criteria for allotment of policy issued by government was not vesting in the High Court by law and exercising such judicial power without any backing of law clearly interfering in and encroaching on the legislative and executive domain is not sustainable in law.

They further stated that the High Court failed to appreciate that without challenging the vires of the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority Act, 2020 (the Act of 2020) any acts done protected there under could not be termed as illegal and unlawful and that judicial power never to be exercised for the purpose of giving effect the will of judge, but always for the purpose of giving effect to the legislature or the will of law.

The petition submitted that while exercising the jurisdiction in the instant matter, the high court with due respect has passed such observations regarding loss to the state exchequer and of violation of fundamental rights when particularly the land was legally acquired and the same process of acquisition of land for the same sectors, F14/F15 was earlier challenged and adjudicated by this Court and moreover the compensation was paid to the land owners accordingly and their rights of enhancement.

The petition stated that a High Court under jurisdiction of judicial review cannot reassert or reassess the proceedings or cannot extend the meaning of such points on the same housing sectors, F 14/ F15 through another interpretation, which has already been decided by this Court on every point being res judicata.

The petitioners submitted that High Court cannot legally intervene into policy matters of government when importantly it was not specifically challenged from any side in court on ground of malafide or any violation of fundamental rights were pointed out and no such notice of hearing was given to the allottees at any stage of proceedings thus, Constitutional jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in vacuum.

The petition also stated that the High Court was not legally justified to observe and attribute without any evidence or document on record that the Federal Cabinet was kept in dark, while approving the revised policy, which was submitted on the directions of the High Court during the pending proceedings and that only on the ground of conflict of interest, which never been approved or even challenged from any side except in suo moto jurisdiction.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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