ISLAMABAD-The Federal Government Employees Housing Authority’s top management is fully optimistic that the apex court would give a go ahead for its stalled F-14 and F-15 sectors, relying on a recently passed Act of the Parliament that turned the housing foundation into authority.

The Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah in his judgment had declared sectors F-14 and F-15 as illegal. He had declared land acquisition process for said projects as illegal and stated that the land within the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) could only be acquired under the CDA’s Ordinance of 1960.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani also upheld said decision while an appeal was pending before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this case. The apex court reserved its judgment in this case few weeks ago but it has yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, the federal government first issued an ordinance and then got approved an Act of the Parliament - Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) Act 2020 - to make the housing foundation an authority to empower it for land acquisition.

Though, now according to the law the body is mandated to acquire land for its projects but there was an uncertainty whether the apex court would accept it for acquisition already done or not.

However, the senior officers of the authority are optimistic that Supreme Court would allow the housing authority to do its projects as now law permits the same.

A senior officer of housing authority explained that the section 29 of FGEHA Act 2020 provides a legal cover for the acts done in past.

“All acts done or taken by the foundation before the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed to have been validly done or have been taken under this act to the extent they are consistent with the provision of this act,” the said section reads.

He further said that during case proceeding in the apex court, our legal counsel presented a copy of this act but at that time it was only passed from the Senate of Pakistan, which was latter also approved by the National Assembly of Pakistan.

In addition to these two sectors, the management also considers the enactment of said Act as a biggest achievement and envision that the other bottlenecks would also be resolved through this legislation.

“Earlier our layout plans and NOCs remain pending before Capital Development Authority (CDA) for years for trivial issues, which would now be resolved immediately,” a senior officer commented on the condition of anonymity, adding: “Our own building control, planning and land acquisition sections would help to speed up our projects.”

According to the FGEHA Act 2020, an executive board would control the authority. The federal minister for concerned division i.e. housing would be the chairman of this board while the director general FGEHA act as its secretary.

The other members include concerned secretary, concerned additional secretary, draftsman of Law and Justice Division, Managing Director PHA, Director General PWD, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Chairman CDA, Joint Secretary Finance, chief of physical planning and housing and chief engineer of the FGEHA.