Islamabad - The Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) has short-listed three top lawyers to challenge an Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict in apex court that entirely scraped its two housing sectors F-14 and F-15.

Sources informed that the executive board of the FGEHF has recommended three lawyers in addition to its previous counsel in the instant case Makhdoom Ali Khan to plead before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“The names of former law ministers including Barrister Syed Ali Zafer and Syed Iftikhar Hussain Gilani and former Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir were finalised by the executive board”, an officer informed who don’t want to be named, adding: “However, the final decision in this regard would be made by the Ministry of Law and Justice.”  

When contacted, the FGEHF’s Director Law Rabia Oarngzaib without sharing the names has informed that the names recommended by the executive board would soon be sent to Ministry of Law and Justice through Ministry of Housing and Works. “It has been decided that we are going to challenge the verdict but the question of who will represent us at the top court is still pending”, she said.  However, reliable sources from the housing foundation informed the Nation that Makhdom Ali Khan is most likely to appear again in apex court on behalf of the foundation. Makhdoom Ali he is well-acquainted with the case.

“Makhdom Ali Khan did not receive a fee amounting to Rs.10 million from the housing foundation to defend the case before division bench of IHC”, he informed.    A two-member division bench of the IHC on Sept 26 upheld the decision of Justice Athar Minallah, who wrote a judgment in October, 2017 which deprived a number of powerful bureaucrats and judges of plots in sectors F-14 and F-15.

The FGEHF had allotted one-kanal plots to 1,788 civil servants, public officials, officers from constitutional and autonomous bodies, as well as lawyers and journalists. However, around 5000 provisional allotment letters including these were become redundant after the aforementioned judgment.  A number of judges from superior and subordinate judiciary, senior bureaucrats i.e. federal secretaries, chief secretaries and inspector generals of police, as well as top guns of media industry are named in the list for sector F-14 and F-15.

While rejecting FGEHF’s appeal against the order of Justice Minallah, a bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had listed over a two dozen procedural, financial, legal and administrative illegalities and irregularities in the execution of aforementioned projects.

Few of the major objections raised by the IHC bench includes approval of the land acquisition proposal by than prime minister without taking the federal cabinet on board, Capital Development Authority (CDA)’s distant view, lack of a categorical public purpose behind acquisition of land, discrimination in quota introduced for different categories, solitary power of CDA to acquire the land in Zone-1 according to its Ordinance, illegal approval of the layout plan for said sectors and the violation of the Islamabad Land Disposal Regulations 2005.

However, the main reason recorded in the judgment is that the FGEHF cannot assume the role of CDA for granting permission for construction, approval of plans, connections of utility, including water supply, and ensuring safety standards for buildings according to law.