SC seeks assurance that military will not do any ‘business’


ISLAMABAD (INP): Emphasizing that every state institution should mind its own business, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Wednesday sought an assurance that the Pakistan Army would restrict itself to its primary duty of defence, and would refrain from doing business.

During the hearing of the petition filed against commercial activities on the Ministry of Defence’s lands in the Supreme Court (SC), the chief justice said it was a matter of concern that the army officers built marriage halls and raised other structures on these lands. “Please give us an assurance that this practice will stop,” he said while addressing the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP).

“Let the army do its own job and judiciary its own,” he remarked.

The AGP replied that what the CJP had said was right.

“If you have received any such instructions from the high-ups in this regard, then give us an assurance,” the chief justice said.

Counsel for the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), on the occasion, said that the building which was the bone of contention belonged to the Board.

He informed that the allottees got the property registered in their names on forged documents and then sold it. “Now a five-storey building has been built on that plot.”

Justice Muhammad Mazhar Ali Mazhar said how unfortunate it was that the ETPB kept watching the building’s construction like a silent spectator.

The CJP was of the view that illegal construction of buildings was not possible without the support of the Sindh Building Control Authority officials. “There is a need to check the assets of these officials,” he said, adding, “Similarly, the Federal Board of Revenue should conduct an audit of the properties owned by sub-registrars in Karachi.”

He said that the people whose homes were bulldozed should be compensated for their losses.

However, the chief justice said he did not think the Sindh government would ever hold an inquiry into their assets.

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