SHC extends interim order restraining NAB from releasing money from attached accounts

July 05, 2020

The Sindh High Court on Friday extended its interim order directing the National Accountability Bureau to continue its process of inviting claims from the Fazaia Housing Scheme-affected people as...

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The Sindh High Court on Friday extended its interim order directing the National Accountability Bureau to continue its process of inviting claims from the Fazaia Housing Scheme-affected people as well as its verification, but it said no money from the accounts that had been attached would be released till the next hearing.

The directorate of estate projects has filed an application for a review of the court order of June 25 on an application moved by affected citizens. According to the order, NAB was allowed to continue verifying claims, but the housing scheme was restrained from disbursing the money to the affected people.

A high court division bench had earlier also suspended a single bench order pertaining to the criteria for refunds on high court appeals filed by the private builder and the directorate of estate projects.

The counsel for the directorate of estate projects submitted that the interim order was passed without hearing the arguments of the appellant, who were directed to refund the claims of the FHS. He submitted that a mere 250 affected people approached the court out of more than 6,500 allottees of the FHS and requested the court to recall its interim order with regard to the attachment of the accounts.

The counsel for the affected people submitted that private builders and NAB obtained the court order through misrepresentations, and in actuality it was an order obtained through collusion between two parties to the detriment of the allottees. They claimed that collusion between NAB and the private builder Maxim properties was evident from the fact that on June 22 NAB has published an advertisement in the press in which the orders of the court had been misrepresented and through which advertisement claims from the allottees had been invited.

They further submitted that none of the actual allottees of the FHS had been called by NAB in connection with their claims and to the contrary they expressed apprehension that in the garb of the various orders passed by the court money from the accounts of the FHS would be disbursed to persons who were not allottees of the project and who had absolutely no claims.

A division bench headed by Justice Omar Sial, after hearing the preliminary submissions of the counsel, observed that the matter was being heard by different judges of the court and in order to avoid conflicting judgments it would be appropriate that the same bench also heard the related appeals that had passed the order with regard to refund all claims of the allotees.

The court directed the office to place the appeals before the chief justice of the SHC for appropriate orders in this regard, and, in the meantime, extended the interim order directing NAB to continue its process of inviting claims from affected people and their verification; however no money from the accounts which had been attached would be released till the next hearing.

The directorate of estate projects and the private builder of the FHS had filed an appeal against the single judge order that issued directions to the official assignee of the court for the disbursement of funds to affected people.

The single bench on a lawsuit of affected people had directed private banks to provide complete details to the official assignee of the court and transfer all funds to the official assignee’s accounts for further disbursement.

The SHC had also halted an inquiry with regard to the Fazaia Housing Scheme after the private builder and the directorate of estate projects agreed to refund all money and liabilities to the allottees of the project within six months.

The private builder and the directorate of estate projects had filed their affidavits and agreed to refund all the money and other liabilities to the allottees within six months who paid substantial amounts of money in respect of their plots in the project.



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