ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has submitted a proposal to the federal cabinet, recommending the allocation of subsidized plots to notable figures including Chief Election Commissioner Mohammad Jalal Sikandar Sultan, former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief Qamar Zaman, and several others.
This revelation came to light during a session at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), where a case filed by Mr. Sultan and his associates was being heard. The petitioners, which include former CDA members and directors, have previously served the CDA on deputation. They argue that based on their service duration, they are entitled to subsidised plots.
However, their initial request was turned down by a single-member bench in 2012, prompting them to file an intra-court appeal. The former CDA officials maintain that while they were denied plots, other officers in similar positions were granted them.
The CDA’s counter-argument is that only those who joined the civic agency post-November 2005 qualify for such allotments. They highlighted that this decision was in line with a Supreme Court ruling and the 2005 Land Disposal Regulation.
CDA’s legal representative, Nazir Jawad, mentioned that the officers in question were on deputation when their request for subsidised plots was declined by the high court. He added that the CDA board had recently suggested certain conditions, including a price hike for these plots, and had forwarded a summary to the interior minister.
The IHC, led by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, has postponed the hearing to November 16. This decision came after suggestions from the legal representatives of both parties, indicating that the court should await the federal cabinet’s verdict on the submitted summary.
It’s worth noting that one of the petitioners, Sikandar Sultan, previously held the position of ‘Director Land and Rehabilitation’ at CDA. He is now at the helm of the election commission.
In a related development, the Election Commission of Pakistan has directed CDA Chairman Anwarul Haq to reassign CDA members on deputation and reshuffle senior CDA officers to ensure neutrality and integrity.
The petitioners have pointed out inconsistencies in the CDA’s policies, emphasizing that the cut-off date of November 28, 2005, was not mandated by any legal statute. They also highlighted that some officers who joined the CDA post this date received plots after just six months of service.
Historically, in 1986, the federal cabinet greenlit a housing scheme for government employees in Islamabad. By 2002, it was agreed that the CDA would supply land for this initiative with the prime minister’s consent. The policy was inclusive of CDA employees, and many deputees were granted plots after the CDA board’s 2005 decision.