Housing Society’s Appeal Against IHC Verdict Rejected by SC

Supreme Court upholds verdict against ministry of interior employees cooperative housing society’s ecroachment of government college land

A petition submitted by the Ministry of Interior Employees Cooperative Housing Society challenging the verdict of the Islamabad High Court against its encroachment on land allocated to a state college was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The three-judge panel, presided over by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, upheld the IHC’s ruling and disregarded the cooperative housing society’s argument. Justice Athar Minallah objected to the name of a housing society being used for a government agency during the proceedings.

Justice Minallah had previously stated that private individuals should not manage housing societies under the names of government ministries or divisions. In January of last year, the Capital Development Authority gave cooperative housing societies a three-week deadline to change their names if they were using the names of ministries or government agencies, failing which they would face harsh punishment.

Justice Minallah stated in December 2021 that there was a conflict of interest when government departments operated housing societies in their names because every state institution was engaged in the real estate industry. He also questioned how, while he was the head of the Ministry of Interior Cooperative Housing Society, the deputy commissioner could take action against it.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Minallah, now a Supreme Court judge, questioned how a cooperative housing society could name itself after a ministry. In addition, the petitioner’s lawyer pointed out that the Supreme Court also had a housing society.

It was the Supreme Court Employees Cooperative Housing Society, Justice Aminud Din Khan clarified. The Supreme Court’s name shouldn’t be used in a housing society, according to Justice Minallah.

Justice Masood stated that the SC was unable to issue a directive to rename the housing society because the high court had already rendered judgement on the issue. The cooperative housing society’s appeal of the IHC’s decision regarding the encroached college land was thus denied by the top court.

As a result of this ruling, it is abundantly clear that housing societies are not allowed to conduct private business under the names of government agencies or institutions, particularly when the practice would infringe on a public right of way.

Written by Imad Khan

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