close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
September 8, 2019

Court issues notices to two builders in amenity plot’s allotment case

Karachi

September 8, 2019

An accountability court on Saturday issued notices to two real estate developers again over their failure to join trial in a case pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of an over 6,000 square yards’ amenity plot for commercial purposes.

The accountability court-III judge, Dr Sher Bano Karim, repeated notices to the real estate developers, including Muhammad Yaqoob, directing them to join the proceedings at the next hearing on October 5.

The National Accountability Bureau had filed the reference against former Karachi nazim and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal, government officers Fazlur Rehman, Iftikhar Kaimkhani, Mumtaz Haider, Syed Nishat Ali and Nazir Zardari, private builders Muhammad Dawood, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Rafiq and the two real estate developers.

According to the anti-graft watchdog, the suspects in connivance sold off an amenity plot owned by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in the upscale Clifton neighborhood to a private builder to make up a high-rise. The plot, measuring over 6,632 sq yds, situated between Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine and Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, was supposed to be given to sea-shell hawkers to set up stalls, according to NAB; however, it was illegally sold to builders at a below–the-market price.

NAB maintained that Kamal approved the commercial status of the plot after which it was sold to DJ Builders which later sold it to another builder. It added that the price of the plot was shown to be Rs260 million while it valued more than Rs2.5 billion. It said that first, the plot was divided into 198 stalls, to be handed over to hawkers, but no implementation was done on it. Later, in 2007, the plot was amalgamated into one and sold off to DJ Builders. In 2014, the plot was sold to another builder.

NAB maintained that the whole process was illegal as neither the status of the plot could be changed nor a building higher than one-storey could be built on it. It added that the suspects using their influence caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

At the outset of the hearing, Kamal and nine other nominated suspects, all of them on bail, appeared in the court except the two real estate developers.

The NAB investigating officer, Abdul Fateh, requested the court for some time to ascertain the whereabouts of the two suspects after obtaining reports from the immigration department about their presence within or outside the country.

Meanwhile, the counsel for two defendants, including Amir Raza Naqvi, moved an application submitting that his client could not appear before the court in the present case since he was seriously ill and was currently under treatment in London. He sought the court’s permission to plead the case in the absence of his client until his recovery and return to the country to join the trial.

He also asked the court for some time to study the maintainability of the case. He argued that the case was filed without hearing his client.

NAB special prosecutor Shehbaz Sahotra said that after the cognizance of an offence by the NAB chairman under Section 18-G of the National Accountability Ordinance, a reference could be filed with the court for initiating trial and there was no question left for hearing on the maintainability of the reference.

The judge, after hearing the arguments from both the sides, fixed the matter on October 5 to continue to debate on the maintainability of the case.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus