Islamabad - The Supreme Court Thursday ordered removal of the government offices from residential areas of the federal capital.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed resumed hearing of a suo motu case regarding blockades and encroachments made in the name of security in residential areas of Islamabad.

Onset of the proceeding, Shahid Hamid, representing the Capital Development Authority (CDA) submitted a list of 45 houses which are being used as government offices in residential areas, which included Ministry of Information, Ministry of Petroleum, Federal Board of Revenue, NADRA offices, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan Post, Ministry of Law, Pakistan Railways and Anti-Narcotics office.

According to the report, the CDA officials were not allowed to enter into 14 offices but the agency can confirm these are under the government control. The report mentioned that 44 houses in residential areas were being used by foreign missions, embassies and international non-government organisations (NGOS).

Likewise, the report revealed that plots have been allotted to a number of these foreign missions in the Diplomatic Enclave but they are still operating in residential areas. However, the report stated that no plots have been allotted in the enclave for official residences of Cuban and Yemen ambassadors so both envoys continued living in residential areas.

The report submitted that embassies of South Africa, Turkmenistan Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Algeria are operating from residential units as no lands have been allotted to them.

The CDA lawyer told that notices have been issued to the owners of houses rented to diplomatic missions while the matter has also been taken up with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Aslam Khaki, representing some petitioners told the court that the main road has been completely blocked due to the security provided to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Headquarters.

Additional Advocate General Amir Rehman submitted that the prime minister has given deadline of May 31 for vacating the government offices situated in residential areas. Justice Azmat said that under what law the prime minister has given May 31 deadline to these departments. The AAG clarified that the PM had directed the government departments to vacate the buildings in residential areas by May 31. The judge said that they would not tolerate non-compliance of this order, adding everyone has to follow the law.

Amir Rehman informed that the offices of Inspector General Islamabad Police and Motorway Police have been shifted from the residential areas. Justice Azmat said that the funds should be released on priority basis for the construction of the IGs offices.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing until first week of June after directing the federal government to submit compliance report over vacating the government offices from the residential areas of the federal capital.