Apex court allows DHA to develop schemes under 2015 act

The SC however barred the housing authority from acquisition of land outside its specified area

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Apex court allows DHA to develop schemes under 2015 act

News Desk :

ISLAMABAD: The Apex Court has allowed the Defense Housing Authority (DHA) to develop schemes in accordance with the DHA Quetta act 2015. However, the court barred the housing authority from exercising any power outside its ‘specified area’ as explained in the act.

In 2015, the Balochistan Assembly had adopted DHA 2015 act Quetta unanimously. The act challenged in the Balochistan  High Court (BHC). The larger bench of the BHC had declared some clauses of the act illegal and contrary to the constitution. 

The court directed the DHA to adopt a cooperative approach 

In a four-page order issued by a three-judge bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, the court also directed the DHA Quetta to adopt a cooperative approach by consulting with local authorities concerned or the provincial government while formulating its development schemes.

On March 16, the Supreme Court had put in abeyance the Dec 16, 2020 order of the Balochistan High Court (BHA) in which several provisions of the DHA Quetta Act 2015 were held to be unconstitutional.

However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended the order of the BHC.

Earlier a five-judge full-court of the BHA had also held that since the DHA Quetta was like a non-government agency therefore acquisition of property by it would violate the constitutional right to property.

High Court had declared that DHA cannot be allowed to develop its own master plan 

The high court had also declared that the DHA Quetta could not be allowed to develop its own master plan or perform other municipal functions. Besides the power of the authority to declare a specified area in which development could be carried out was also held to be unconstitutional. As a result of the high court judgment, development work in DHA Quetta had been paralyzed.

Senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan had represented DHA Quetta before the Supreme Court while Advocate Naeem had appeared on behalf of the respondent Quetta Residencia Housing Scheme. The Supreme Court order said the concerns expressed about the DHA Quetta Act by the BHC might not have been precisely formulated, however, they did invite caution.

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