ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday summoned the housing minister and secretary and others on a petition filed by 33 judges of lower judiciary of Islamabad, challenging a government’s notification wherein it had withdrawn the allotment of government accommodation to them.

IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui conducted summoned the respondents while suspending the impugned notification.

Justice Siddiqui noted in his verdict, “Let the matter be posted on 4-5-2018. On which date, Minister for Housing and Works, Secretary Ministry of Housing and Works, Estate Officer and Miraj Muhammad, section officer, shall appear in person. It is made clear that no exemption whatsoever shall be granted as it is clearly contemptuous act, for which contempt of court proceedings have to be initiated against the persons mentioned above.”

The court also observed that it appeared that persons at the helm of affairs in the Ministry of Housing and Works “with malafide intention, ulterior motives and in order to keep the accommodations for allotment against irrelevant consideration have come up with stinking approach, resulting in the withdrawal of the notification related to allotment of houses to the judges”.

In this matter, the petitioners approached the court through their counsel Babar Saeed and cited the federation through the secretary housing and works, Miraj Muhammad Khan, section officer (Policy) Ministry of Housing and Estate Office, as respondents.

The petitioners said that they are judicial officers in Islamabad and eligible and entitled for the allotment of government accommodation and they were allotted government accommodation as per their entitlement and possession of said accommodation were handed over to them and house rent allowance was also being deducted from their monthly salary.

They adopted that they were legal and lawful allottee of the accommodations, but, on 28 March, the respondents without any reason or justification, issued the notification whereby the eligibility of the judicial officers for allotment of government accommodation was withdrawn.

They contended that it was the basic principle that all the stakeholders shall be taken into confidence/ hearing may be given, however, before issuing the impugned notification, no such exercise was undertaken.

The petitioners argued that the said notification, did not give any such right to the respondents to issue any such notification, hence, impugned notification was issued in excess of the legal authority of Estate Office.

They maintained that necessary legal and procedural requirements and other conditions precedent for issuance of notification had not been met before the issuance of the impugned notification, thus the same was illegal, unlawful and unjustified.

The judges had prayed to the court to declare the notification illegal, void ab-initio and ultra vires.