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CJP comes down hard on army over its businesses

CJP comes down hard on army over its businesses

Army should do its work and courts will do their job, remarks CJP Qazi Faez Isa

Court Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has sought assurance from the attorney general that the army would only work on defence-related matters and not run any business.

The assurance was sought from CJP Isa during a hearing of a petition filed against commercial activity being done on military land.

During the hearing, CJP Isa remarked that the army was conducting business and had set up marriage halls on military lands. He then sought assurance from the attorney general that the army would remain the “protector” and not do any business.

“Can you get this assurance?” CJP Isa asked the attorney general. He also added that everyone should work as per their mandate.

“The army should do its own work and courts will do their job,” said CJP Isa.

In response, AGP Mansoor Usman Awan stated that as per principle, everyone should do their job.

However, CJP Isa insisted that if the AGP had the directives then he should give the assurance to the court.

On this point lawyer for the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) intervened and told the court that the building from which the dispute started belonged to his client. He added that the allottees sold the land based on fake documents and now a five-story building sits there.

At this, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar remarked that the ETPB was a bystander when the five-story building was being constructed.

However, CJP Isa observed that it would not have been possible without the involvement of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). He then further remarked that the assets of officers above the rank of inspector at the SBCA should be checked.

“The Karachi sub registry’s assets should also be audited by the FBR. The residents of demolished buildings should receive money from all assets beyond means,” said the CJP. He also added that the Sindh government would never do an inquiry on this.

On this point, the director general of the SCBA appeared in court and the CJP inquired how many inspectors and officers were part of the department.

The DG informed the court that currently there are 1,400 employees with the SCBA out of which 600 are building inspectors and 300 are senior inspectors.

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