Islamabad - Capital Development Authority (CDA) Friday submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) its report regarding the removal of Katchi Abadis (slum areas) from the federal capital.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddqiui conducted the hearing and Farrukh Dall Advocate appeared before it on behalf of the residents of slum areas while Standing Council Barrister Jehangir Jadon and Raja Adnan Advocate represented the federation and CDA respectively.

Capital Development Authority (CDA) report submitted in the court stated that the civic body had formulated a policy to remove these areas from Islamabad.

It further stated that after Eid-ul-Fitr, CDA would launch operation with the help of police and Rangers in phases against these slum areas, which are total 41 in the city.

Justice Siddiqui remarked that apparently, the report seemed well but it lacked practical steps regarding its implementation.

Expressing its hope regarding the implementation of this policy, the court observed that hopefully, the state would establish its writ and it would not succumb to any political pressure in this regard.

During the hearing, a man and woman representing Katchi Abadis Alliance appeared before the court and requested that they are also Pakistani citizens and they have rights. They said that it is the responsibility of the state to provide house, water and other amenities of life to them.

At this, Justice Siddiqui expressed his annoyance and said that they received funding on the name of Katchi Abadis Alliance and directed the police to take them out of the courtroom.

After issuing aforementioned directions, the court deferred the hearing till July 24 for further proceedings in this matter moved by Aziz-ur-Rehman and some others through their counsel Farrukh Dall Advocate.

In their petition, they cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Interior, Capital Development Authority (CDA) through its Chairman, CDA Head Office, Secretary Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, Chief Commissioner ICT, Islamabad, Inspector General (IG) of Police, Islamabad and Secretary Cabinet Division as respondents.

They contended in the petition that the right to adequate housing is a universal right, recognised at the international level and affirmed by the United Nations and recognised in regional treaties and in more than 100 national constitutions throughout the world.

“It is a right recognised as valid for every individual person forcing governments to respect their legal obligation to guarantee a life of dignity,” maintained the petitioners.

Their counsel argued that as the right to housing being acknowledged internationally and as the Federation of Pakistan being the state party of the international treaties is bound to protect the fundamental rights of the petitioners.

“The petitioners are the law abiding citizens of Pakistan and residing, along with their families, in the slum (kachi Abadi) situated at sector 1-10/1 Islamabad for more than 40 years,” he stated in the petition.

Counsel said that that respondent No.2 is threatening the petitioners and their families to evict their homes or they will remove them. Time and again, the officers of Capital Development Authority (CDA) visited their residences and warned them to evict their homes.

“The act of Respondent No.2 being highly discriminatory and being illegal is agitated before this honourable court as respondents cannot forcibly evict the petitioners and their families without providing them adequate housing and the others facilities provided and guaranteed in Article 9 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973,” maintained Farrukh.

Therefore, he prayed the court that it may declare that the impugned act of forced eviction by the respondents is illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary, unlawful, void ab-initio having no legal effect and has no sanctity in the eyes of law and also contrary to the National Housing Policy, 2001.

He requested the court to issue directions against the respondents restraining them from threatening the petitioners and their families to evict their houses.