Seven jailed for 10 years in Rs3 billion land scam

October 27, 2020

An accountability court on Monday sentenced seven men, including former revenue officers and private builders, to 10 years in prison after they were found guilty of illegally obtaining 1,700 acres...

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An accountability court on Monday sentenced seven men, including former revenue officers and private builders, to 10 years in prison after they were found guilty of illegally obtaining 1,700 acres of government land and causing a loss of Rs3 billion to the state.

Ex-mukhtiarkar Salik Nukriach, ex-sub registrar Shahid Raza, ex-tapedar Abdul Aziz, and real estate developers Wahid Bux, Lal Muhammad, Fazal Hussain and Zaman were convicted for fraudulently getting 1,729 acres of land in Malir.

Pronouncing the verdict, accountability court-IV judge Suresh Kumar observed that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges against the accused. He also fined Rs5 million to each convict.

According to the prosecution, former land utilisation secretary Aftab Ahmed Memon with the connivance of Nukriach, Aziz and Raza illegally and with malafide intentions made fake ownership of 100 acres of the state land in the favour of Bux, director of the Al-Jalil Enterprises, Sabir Hussain, director of the Al-Salam Enterprises, Lal Muhammad, director of the Al-Rehman Associates, Zaman, director of the Al-Mueez Builders, Fazal Hussain, director of the Al-Quds Developers and absconding accused Raza Muhammad of the Al-Khalil Associates. The case of Memon and Sabir was bifurcated from this.

The prosecution said the accused were public office holders and beneficiaries of the illegal land allotment through bogus entries made in the name of Raza Muhammad and Sajawal, who had died, in the Deh Dih, Tapo Ibrahim in Malir.

It added that the entries in the names of the private beneficiaries were based on bogus entries and after an inquiry by the then deputy commissioner Malir Muhammad Younas Dagha in February 1999, the entries were cancelled.

NAB maintained that the then member of the land utilisation department had written letters to the Malir and Korangi DCs for exchange of 100-acre land of the same value in District Malir.

During the correspondence, the mukhtiarkars sought guidance from the assistant commissioners as to whether such exchange of land fell within the contempt of the court but was denied by the member of the land utilisation department that such exchange of the land did not fell under any contempt.

In the meanwhile, it was revealed that 100 acres of the land was valued at Rs30 per acres and Memon had proposed 1,729 acres of the land worth Rs3 billion in the favour of the private beneficiaries in Malir, whereas the 100 acres land was directed to be kept back in the favour of the government.

The watchdog claimed that during investigation it came out on the record that Memon’s office was not the competent forum to be approached for the departmental appeals and proper forum was the commissioner’s office that was supposed to be approached within 30 days, but the commissioner’s office was never approached by the accused. Later on, such applications were filed after the lapse of 14 years in violation of the Land Revenue Act.

Therefore, the losses of Rs3 billion were caused to the national exchequer by the accused. They were found involved in corruption and corrupt practices defined under Section 9 and punishable under Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance.



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