SC grills govt, DHA over failure to conduct audit


–Judge asks whether DHA was government within government

–Questions why does judiciary have ‘to do everything and pass all the orders’


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday grilled the federal government and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for their failure to conduct an audit of the housing authority in connection to a case pertaining to the transfer of land.

A three-member bench, under Justice Ahmed’s stewardship, was hearing the case taken up by the apex court in Sep 2015 wherein it declared DHA’s claim that their accounts could not be scrutinised “unjustified”, and ordered the auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) to audit DHA’s accounts.

The order was issued during the hearing of a case involving the possession of 156 kanals of land, which DHA Lahore had termed ‘Phase 7’ despite the fact that the individual from whom it purportedly ‘purchased’ the land for Rs920 million never owned the property.

At Thursday’s hearing, Justice Qazi Faez Essa said DHA could be held in contempt of court over its refusal to get audited. “What problem does DHA have with the audit?” the judge asked.

Justice Essa asked if “the court needs to teach the law to the government and that it should tell the court in writing if it was ignorant of the law.

Justice Ahmed questioned the government’s writ, saying, “It seems as if DHA is a government within the government.”

He expressed his displeasure over the indifference of the executive towards the case. “Why does the judiciary have to do everything and pass all the orders?” he questioned.

“Is the judiciary an alternative to the government? Has the government been handed over to the Supreme Court?” he asked in exasperation.

The DHA counsel asked the court for some time to prepare his client’s case. Subsequently, the case was adjourned for two weeks.