- A suspended judge among petitioners who file 26-pages long writ petition
ISLAMABAD: In what seems to be a spillover effect of differences, rifts and tussles between executive and legislature at highest echelons, the 33 district court judges including session judges, additional session judges, senior civil judges and civil judges have filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court challenging de-notification of their eligibility in the allotment of the government residences by the Ministry of Housing and Works.
In a notification issued by the ministry, Section Officer (policy) Miraj Muhammad Khan has withdrawn a previous notification issued back in September 26, 2008, whereby the ministry notified the Islamabad High Court, including the judges of the high court, their complementary staff, judicial officers of the district judiciary, along with employees of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.
The notification also regularise their ceiling rents with immediate effect. The accommodation was provided from the Estate Office Pool at Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. “The federal government is pleased to state that the employees of the ministries/divisions and its attached department are eligible for the government accommodation from the Estate Office pool in terms of rule 3(1) of the Accommodation Allocation Rules, 2002.”
The notification No 54(4)/Admin/EO dated September 26, 2008, issued by the Estate Office is hereby withdrawn being issued in violation of the Accommodation Rules, 2002, reads the recent notification against which the judges had filed a writ petition.
In a 26-pages long writ petition, accompanied with allotment letters issued by the Estate Office to judges of district courts, the petitioners pray that since they have been the lawful allottees and the notification issued on March 28, 2018, be declared illegal, void ab-initio, ultra vires and without any lawful authority.
The judges submitted their petition through their council Advocate Babar Saeed Butt. Interestingly, Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan who along with his wife is under trial in Tayyaba torture case is also among the petitioners. The judge is suspended since last year yet he continues to enjoy government accommodation along with the car.
In his case, the decision is reserved and is expected to be announced this month. It is pertinent to mention here that the federal capital suffers from a shortage of the government-owned accommodation. Majority of the government employees without allotment are given a monthly house rent for hiring a private property.