Armed Forces Personnel, Judges Not Entitled To Receive Plots Of Land: Justice Isa
Supreme Court justice Qazi Faez Isa has said that laws governing civil and armed forces personnel do not entitle them to receive residential plots, commercial plots or agricultural land.
The judge made these remarks in a judgement pertaining to a petition against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict that scrapped a federal govt housing scheme in F-14 & F-15 sectors of Islamabad. The SC however has overruled the high court in its ruling.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa in his judgment held that laws governing civil and armed forces personnel do not entitle them to receive residential plots, commercial plots or agricultural land.
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In his additional note to ‘dilated upon certain relevant and necessary matters’, Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that people of Pakistan pay for the pensions of the government employees and armed forces personnel despite having very little themselves.
“To serve the nation is a singular honour. When, in addition to receiving pensions, public lands are taken it is eminently unfair,” noted the judge.
“The laws governing the armed forces do not provide that they be given residential plots, commercial plots or agricultural
land nor permits them to receive the same. Nevertheless, senior members of the Armed Forces get plots and agricultural lands and continue to be given additional plots and agricultural lands as they rise up the ranks,” according to the top judge.
He said that the judiciary and the armed forces are patterned on the British model, adding that land is not given away to judges and to the members of the armed forces in Britain, in the United States of America nor in any commonwealth country, with the singular exception of Pakistan.
The prevailing practice of granting State/public plots and land to members of the Armed Forces is contrary to the Constitution
and the law. Laws can also not be enacted to enable such allotments/grants because if enacted these would violate the Constitution (Articles 24, 25, 205 and 227) and be void, Justice Isa wrote in his additional note.
Justice Isa also held that the constitution and the law (presidential orders) do not entitle chief justices and judges of the superior courts to plots of land and Judicial Estacode’62 also does not contain anything therein entitling chief justices and judges to plots of land.
“Likewise, the Manual of ‘Pay, Pension and other Privileges’63 (‘the Manual’), compiles the presidential orders, rules, and notifications regarding the pay, pension and privileges of judges, but the manual also does not contain anything entitling chief justices and judges of the superior courts to plots of land,” the judge wrote.