ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday questioned whether the government has money to provide a house to every citizen in the country.
These remarks were made during the hearing of a case pertaining to slum areas. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the case.
“Does the country where people are stealing taxes have enough money to meet the shelter requirement of every citizen?” Justice Nisar questioned.
The court dispatched the proposed constitutional draft in connection with temporary makeshifts case to attorney general and advocate general of Pakistan.
The top court also sought details of the committee constituted by the prime minister in connection with low-priced houses.
The applicant’s lawyer took a stance that low-price housing societies’ bill was drafted on the court’s order but no further work was done on these housing societies.
The top-court judge remarked that why the federal and provincial governments should not be asked for a reply because it was the parliament’s responsibility to approve the bill, adding that judiciary has nothing to do with parliament’s affairs.
Justice Nisar noted that the judiciary had also committed some mistakes as the people first occupy government lands and construct houses and commercial plazas on them, and when the government takes action against encroachments, they approach the courts and take stay orders.
The CJP further remarked that the education and health facilities are more important than shelter.
Even in slums, people have air-conditioners, refrigerators and other luxuries at their homes, the top court judge remarked. The chief justice asked whether the government can be deprived of land by giving ownership to these encroachers.
The chief justice remarked that every citizen doesn’t have a housing facility even in the United States, however, we cannot compare an under-developed country with a developed one.
The applicant’s lawyer when submitted proposed constitutional draft in the court, the court directed to dispatch the draft to the attorney general and advocate general of Pakistan.
Justice Umar Atta Bandial remarked that in the 1970s, a slogan of bread, cloth and shelter was raised, adding that the court can only highlight the issue. The court has no jurisdiction to form policy or impose restrictions.
“We will have to maintain a difference between the deserving and undeserving persons,” he remarked.
Advocate Latif Khosa said that Pakistan doesn’t have a shortage of honest persons. He, however, said that 50 per cent population in Pakistan is below the poverty line, adding that the poor people cannot approach the court.