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Govts give maps to land grabbers: SC

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February 12, 2016

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Says police stations are sold for millions; orders Centre, provinces to form commission for giving shelter to homeless people; warns if law to provide homes to poor is not enacted within two months, stern action will be taken

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said the governments themselves gave maps to land grabbers while the apex court also regretted that police stations were sold for millions.

While hearing a petition, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that police stations were sold for millions of rupees and SHOs got their favourite police stations after giving bribes.

The five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, heard cases on the constitutional position of sections 22A and 22B of the criminal code on registration of FIR.

Amicus curiae Khawaja Haris told the court that this power as justice of peace did not clash with the Constitution. He said if the police did not register an FIR, there should be a separate authority which could order the police to register an FIR. He said that there were 30-35 percent FIRs whose challans were not submitted in the courts.

Another advocate, Aziz A Malik, said that the process of registration of FIRs was delayed due to the separation of police operation and investigation wings. He said if the chief justice went to a police station concealing his identity for the registration of an FIR, the SHO of the police station concerned would demand a bribe from him.

The chief justice remarked that police stations were sold for millions of rupees and SHOs were appointed to their favourite police stations after taking bribes and then they had to collect the same amount of money. He said that the fault lay with the fact that no one was acting as per the law.

Justice Saqib Nisar said that except for one lawyer, the stance of all the other counsels was that the power of sections of 22A and 22B did not clash with the Constitution and the justice of peace was like a check on the police. He said the Supreme Court, through its decision, had opened a window in 2015 to form a scientific modus operandi of application to register an FIR.

While the arguments of the amicus curiae continued, the time of the court was over and further hearing was adjourned till today (Friday).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the federal government and the four provinces to draft a bill for providing shelter to low-income and homeless people in the country and ensure the tabling of a draft bill in the national and provincial assemblies within two months.

“We are giving the last chance to the federal and provincial governments to take effective measures for the provision of shelter to low-income and homeless people otherwise we, while fulfilling our constitutional obligation, will take stern action in this regard,” the court ruled in its order.

A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dost Muhammad Khan andJustice Qazi Faez Isa resumed hearing in identical petitions, filed against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and police action in katchi abadi of Sector I-11, federal capital.

The court ruled that the reports submitted by the provinces in compliance with its earlier order pertaining to solid guidelines for provision of shelter to the low-income and homeless people were not comprehensive and were incomplete.

The court observed that despite its earlier direction regarding evolving a policy for provision of shelter to the low-income people, the federal government, provinces and Capital Development Authority (CDA) were bent upon ignoring these directions.

The court in its order further ruled that the federal government, four provinces and the CDA kept a blind corner for the poor and homeless people in the country.

The court directed the federal government as well as four provinces to draft bill for provision of shelter to the low-income class and homeless people and ensured its tabling in the national and four provincial assemblies with proposals of budget before the next date of hearing.

The court in its order observed that the CDA had launched several housing schemes wherein plots were being awarded to the upper class for living a luxurious life however no quota was allocated for the low-income class and homeless people in the said housing schemes.

“We are giving last chance to the federal government and four provinces to take effective measures for the low-income and homeless people and constitute a commission comprising experts on housing schemes”, the court ruled in its order.

The court directed that the said commission be assigned the task to formulate a policy for the provision of shelter to the low-income and homeless people with further direction that the federal government, four provinces and the CDA should provide funds to the said commission.

The court also directed that the status of the members of the commission must be equivalent to the status of federal and provincial secretaries ensuring all the perks and privileges.

The court observed that the reports submitted by Deputy Attorney General and law officers of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan were incomplete. Similarly, the court issued show cause notices to the law officers of Punjab and Sindh for their non-appearance before it.

 

 

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