- Judges are not empowered to make law; they simply interpret it and if a law offends the Constitution they must strike it down.
- The Constitution and the law (presidential orders) did not entitle chief justices and judges of the superior courts to receive plots or piece of land.
- Likewise, neither the Constitution nor any of the laws governing civil and armed forces personnel entitle them to receive residential plots, commercial plots or agricultural land.
- The executive giving plots to judges constitutes a favor.
- The Constitution does not permit self-enrichment and personal aggrandizement.
- Both civil service and armed forces personnel were in the service of Pakistan, and the Constitution created no distinction between them.
- Laws cannot discriminate and offend the fundamental right of equality.
- Elite capture has created a “predatory state” in which the division between private and public interests was totally dismantled.
- The leaders of the freedom movement, the All-India Muslim League, who created Pakistan, among whom were many who had lost their own homes, did not take a single square inch of land. These proud freedom fighters of Pakistan were also not remunerated nor pensioned. They spent from their own pockets to create Pakistan. Their only motivation was a burning desire to serve the people. The constitutional goal of ‘creating an egalitarian society’ is undermined when public land furtively finds its way into private hands.
- The judiciary and the armed forces of Pakistan are patterned on the British model. 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.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court made the above observations as “additional notes” to the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday while setting aside an earlier verdict by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which had scrapped a federal government housing scheme in the capital.
The beneficiaries of the housing scheme include judges, powerful bureaucrats, influential lawyers and journalists. According to the FGEHA’s list of applicants and allottees available on its website, seven of the serving judges of the apex court have applied for plots in the scheme.