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March 12, 2019

Three ex-officers caused ‘millions of rupees loss’ to LDA

Lahore

March 12, 2019

LAHORE: Three officers posted on deputation in Lahore Development Authority (LDA) have allegedly caused ‘millions of rupees loss’ to the authority by fraudulently transferring residential plots to a fake owner, an LDA report reveals.

An LDA investigation report prepared by Director Land Development (DLD-1) revealed that the case was referred to Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Lahore for registration of a criminal case against the then officials/officers of LDA including Naveed Kausar Bhatti, then LAC (officer on deputation), PCS Officer Sh Fareed Ahmed, Deputy Director (officer on deputation), PCS Officer Malik Javed Nasim, Director Land Development-1, LDA (officer on deputation) and Muhammad Aslam Qanoongo (dismissed from service).

Malik Javed Nasim is presently serving as Director General, Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Sargodha, Sheikh Farid Ahmed is serving as Director Anti-Corruption Establishment, Gujranwala while Naved Kausar Bhatti has been retired from service.

The LDA’s report stated that it has transpired from office record that one Akbar Ali made an agreement to sell land measuring 33-kanal 3-marla in Khasra Nos 80, 108, 78, 110, 81, 115, 118, 151, 152, 70, 71, Mouza Ajudiapur with Tahir Naseer Khan in 1987. The report said that different awards were announced in favour of Akbar Ali as given in the Award Register Part-B while exemption file No.JT/AP/721 was opened in the name of Akbar Ali consequently, he was allocated plots No 32-H, 33-H, 581-Q, 217-C/H1, 217-D/H1, 217-E/H1, 30-A/H1, 30-B/H1 each measuring one kanal in Johar Town Scheme, Lahore.

The Director Land Development, LDA vide cancellation letter No.DLD/LDA/ PS(S)05/3/ 2000, dated 25.03.2003 cancelled the above mentioned plots by referring to the order of Settlement Commissioner wherein he had declared Akbar Ali non-entitled to the land of 29 kanals in the above Khasras.

The investigation report revealed that Akbar Ali hatched a conspiracy and gave power of attorney regarding the above mentioned awarded land to Zahid Naseer Khan, brother of one Tahir Naseer Khan, with whom he previously made an agreement of sale. It added that Tahir Naseer Khan filed a suit against Zahid Naseer, General Attorney of Akbar Ali, for specific performance in which LDA was intentionally not impleaded as a party with the ulterior motive of concealment of facts. Both the brothers compromised in the civil court and Zahid Naseer admitted the claim of Tahir Naseer for selling him the land, it maintained.

The civil court in the said suit passed the decree in favour of Tahir Naseer on 14.6.2017 and on the basis of court decree, sale deed was registered vide No.863 dated 25.08.2007 for the land 17 Kanal 1 Marla and the mutation was sanctioned in the name of Tahir Naseer vide No.7997 dated 31.08.2007 whereas LDA was not party to the suit.

The LDA’s investigation claimed that the officers concerned were supposed to challenge the decree in the public interest and non-challenging of ex-party decree was collusive and criminal negligence at the cost of public exchequer.

The report maintained that Land Acquisition Collector (LAC), LDA, amended the award and included the name of Tahir Naseer on the basis of this mutation without due examination of the record and utter in disregard of the orders of DLD dated 25.03.2002.

Nauman Khan, DLD-1, LDA, while talking to The News said that it was pertinent to mention that Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) was not empowered to make such amendment to the award as per provision of Land Acquisition (Housing) Act, 1973. He said consequently, exemption was granted in November, 2007 and plots No 106, 179, 133, 171, 148 of Block-D each measuring one kanal, were allocated against ownership of 17-Kanal 1-marla in the file No.JT/AP/3213.

“This exemption was granted fraudulently with the connivance of LAC and officials/officers of DLD office and loss of millions of rupees is caused to LDA in this fraud,” Nauman said, adding the case was recently unearthed when the matter was referred to the Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore vide No.2077044, dated 31.12.2014 for verification/confirmation of ownership but ownership of Tahir Naseer Khan could not be verified from Revenue Department, which clearly indicates that exemption was procured through fraud and forgery.

The investigation report of LDA said copies of Robkar of Revenue Department, report of LAC, LDA dated 25.07.2017, and serious audit observations made by the then Resident Director Audit, LDA issued vide No.RDA/LDA/219, dated 13.07.2009 were attached with the case referred to Anti Corruption Establishment, Lahore for registration of a criminal case against the then officials/officers of LDA including Naveed Kausar Bhatti, the then LAC (officer on deputation), Muhammad Aslam Qanoongo (dismissed from service), PCS Officer Sh Fareed Ahmed Deputy Director (officer on deputation) and PCS Officer Malik Javed Nasim, Director Land Development-1, LDA (officer on deputation) alongwith beneficiary Tahir Naseer Khan s/o Muhammad Akram, R/o 83-Sultan Street, Krishan Nagar, Lahore (CNIC# 35202-0183160-3) for usurping the land of LDA worth billions of rupees.

A cover letter with the above mentioned report was sent to the Director General, Anti-Corruption Establishment, Fareed Kot House, Lahore by Director Land Development-I, Urban Development Wing, LDA with a subject “Request for registration of a criminal case/investigation.

LDA DLD-1 Nauman Khan said authority has also started working on 125 similar cases and all of these cases will be referred to Anti Corruption Establishment after proper investigations.

Talking to The News, Sargodha PHA DG Malik Nasim said that the case made by the LDA was baseless. He said the authority wanted to bring ACE on the back foot and that is why his name and the name of Sheikh Fareed were added to the inquiry. He said during his posting, he and Fareed followed all rules and regulations and no wrong doing was done. He said if the case was a fraud then why LDA has not so far got the mutation cancelled. Talking about the former LAC, he said he was also an honest man and this case was only made to malign the anti corruption department.

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