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House allotment case: Ex-minister, HEC employee issued contempt notices
03-26-2013, 07:04 PM
Post: #1
House allotment case: Ex-minister, HEC employee issued contempt notices
ISLAMABAD, March 25: The Supreme Court on Monday issued contempt notices to a former minister of state for housing and an employee of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for interfering in a case relating to the allotment of a government residence in the capital city.

“We direct the office to issue notice under Section 17 (1) of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 against Malik Nauman Ahmed Langriyal and Faisal Butt,” ordered a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

The bench had taken up an appeal by Mohammad Asif, an employee of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), after his plea against cancellation of a quarter in Sector G-6/2 allotted to him by the Estate Office was dismissed by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Former Minister of State for Housing Malik Langriyal was accused of ordering Assistant Estate Officer Nazir Ahmed to issue an allotment letter in favour of Faisal Butt, the HEC employee, without taking his seniors into confidence. The allotment letter was issued despite a stay granted by the IHC.

Nazir Ahmed, who has since been suspended, had alleged that Estate Officer Enforcement Ayub Jan had acted as a frontman for Langriyal. Mr Jan is now in jail and facing cases registered against him by the housing ministry.

Both Langriyal and Faisal Butt through their counsel on Monday requested the apex court to exonerate them from the instant proceedings since they were unaware of the pendency of cases in the high court. They will have to appear before the apex court on April 8.

The Supreme Court, however, granted two weeks to the housing ministry to complete identifying houses allotted to government employees but occupied by unauthorised persons. The court allowed the time to the ministry to ensure transparency in the allotment process.

During the last hearing on March 1, the apex court had ordered the housing ministry to submit a complete report on the status of the government allotted houses.

“The Ministry of Housing and Works is not at all interested in implementing the directions to ensure allotment of government houses to deserving employees,” the chief justice observed, adding the attitude and slackness was beyond the comprehension of the court.

Acting Secretary Housing Amna Imran Khan told the court that so far a physical inspection of 1,392 government houses had been made of which 94 were found to be either occupied illegally or have been rented out.

She, however, conceded that majority of record of the Estate Office had been destroyed during the 2007 Lal Masjid operation when the Estate Office was burnt.

During the last hearing, the acting secretary had informed the court that 130 government residences were illegally occupied by the PTCL employees whereas 250 units were under the unlawful possession of the Islamabad police.

The staff of other departments had also prolonged their occupation of the units after obtaining stay orders from the courts.

In October 19, 2011, the then Housing Secretary Kamran Lashari had also informed the Supreme Court that from 2004 till 2011 a total of 6,294 allotments had been made out of turn.

He had said there were only 26,000 housing units available against 500,000 federal government employees in the capital.

The apex court had ordered the housing ministry to initiate a process of rescinding accommodations dolled out to government servants out of turn.
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