Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday summoned Interior Secretary, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Inspector General Police (IGP) Islamabad in person in a petition related to the removal of Kutchi Abadis (slum areas) from the federal capital.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the city top bosses to appear before the court in person on June 4 and deferred the hearing for further proceedings till then.

Justice Siddiqui issued these directions while hearing the petition filed 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 one hundred 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 thus 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 (kutchi Abadi) located at sector 1-10/1 Islamabad for more than forty years,” he stated in the petition.

Counsel said 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) visit their residences and warn them to evict their homes. “The act of Respondent No.2 being highly discriminatory and being illegal is agitated before this Honorable 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.