SC terms DHA-Eden Housing Society agreements void

11:49 PM | 1 Jan, 2019
SC terms DHA-Eden Housing Society agreements void
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court Tuesday termed the agreements signed by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and the Eden Housing Society void.

A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, also directed the DHA to develop the 11,000 plots sold by the Eden Housing Society within five years to give some relief to the affectees.

The CJP said an implementation bench would be constituted to resolve the case, and instructed all the suspects currently in the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) custody in connection with the case to contact the relevant forums.

“I ask you, the army and everyone else this: Which country’s army operates housing schemes?” the CJP asked the DHA counsel while criticising the army’s role in housing schemes.

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As the hearing resumed after a brief adjournment earlier in the day, the DHA lawyer defended his client by arguing that it had limited involvement in the project.

“This was a 25,000-kanal project,” he said. “The DHA sold its name in exchange for 30 per cent of the total shares.”

However, the chief justice was not satisfied. He asked the DHA representative: “Is it the army’s job to develop housing societies?”

“The army’s job is to protect the country’s borders; not to participate in commercial activities,” the judge said. “Had the DHA done this for our martyrs, it would have been [understandable].”

“Does any other country’s army do this?” he asked again.

“The Malaysian army is involved in housing schemes,” the DHA representative offered, to which the judge countered asking: “And have you modelled the army after just that one country?”

“It seems that you people [the DHA] run your business by using widows and martyrs as a shield, and you pocket royalties [in their name],” Justice Nisar added.

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The affectees of the Eden Housing Society accuse group owner Dr Murtaza Amjad, son-in-law of former CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and others of defrauding more than 10,000 people.

Dr Amjad and his two sons had fled to Canada in April 2017 as the interior ministry did not place them on the Exit Control List (ECL) despite a request from NAB.

The Federal Investigation Agency had arrested Dr Murtaza Amjad in September 2018.