SC sets aside IHC verdict on federal housing scheme

By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: After a passage of eight months, the Supreme Court on Thursday set aside an earlier verdict by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) scrapping a federal government housing scheme in the capital. The housing scheme, in sectors F-14 and F-15 of the federal capital, had judges, powerful bureaucrats, influential lawyers and journalists among the beneficiaries of the scheme. The housing project was being undertaken by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) on land acquired from local residents.inds its way into private hands, he adds. “Those in the service of Pakistan retire at the age of 60, Chief Justice and Judges of the High Courts at the age of 62 and Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court at the age of 65; by which age most, if not all, already have a place to call home; if they don’t, they will receive a sizeable monthly pension which they can use to rent a place. The amount to be spent in the current financial year 2020-2021 on pensions is 470,000,000,00087 rupees (four hundred and seventy billion rupees); of which 111,000,000,000 rupees (one hundred and eleven billion rupees) is to be spent on retired civilians and 359,000,000,000 rupees (three hundred and fifty-nine billion rupees) is to be spent on retired personnel of the Armed Forces. The annual cost of pension payments is almost equal to the cost of ‘Running of Civil Government’, which is 476,589,000,00088 rupees (four hundred and seventy-six billion, five hundred and eighty-nine million rupees). The people of Pakistan pay these pensions despite having very little themselves. To serve the nation is a singular honour. When, in addition to receiving pensions, public lands are taken it is eminently unfair,” said Justice Isa. “The judiciary and the armed forces of Pakistan are patterned on the British model. Land is not given away to judges and to the members of the armed forces in Britain, in the United States of America nor in any commonwealth country, with the singular exception of Pakistan.