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September 23, 2015

Early decision on mutation of ETPB land demanded

Lahore

 
September 23, 2015

Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Punjab has rejected the plea of transferring the mutation case of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) land in Depalpur from the court of Additional Commissioner (Revenue) Okara.
SMBR made the decision on Tuesday while hearing the plea of private persons who had stated that the case of mutation of 984 acres of ETPB land pending in the court of ADC (Revenue) may be transferred somewhere else.
After hearing arguments, SMBR rejected the plea and ordered ADC Okara to decide the case as early as possible. The next date of hearing of the case has been fixed for October 6, 2015. The transfer and mutation of 984 acres of ETPB land in Depalpur allegedly illegally against Munawar Hussain, a private person who claimed to be the owner, has been challenged by the Trust with the ADC Revenue. 984 acres land in the Ram Parshad area in Depalpur was called Udassi Shrine Trust property and a Guru, Mahant, used to run the affairs of the Trust. The last guru was Mahant Munur Das converted to Islam and adopted Ghulam Rasool as his new name, contracted a marriage with Noor Bibi.
His son Munawar Hussain has been claiming the property since 1952 but his claim has not been accepted by now.
In 1954, then Collector of Montgomery (now Sahiwal) declared the property as Evacuee Trust property and mutation of the property in favour of the Trust was made on 31.12.1971. Similarly, ETPB chairman on April 7, 1977 declared the property as Trust’s property. After going through various courts including the Supreme Court and Lahore High Court, the matter was pending with the Chairman ETPB since 2012 but in 2014, the revenue officers of Okara allegedly fraudulently mutated the land in favour of Munawar Hussain. The same land was further sold out to some other private persons subsequently.
As the same matter was still pending with the ETPB Chairman, the Board challenged the alleged illegal mutation done by AC Depalpur in favour of Munawar

Hussain in the court of ADC Okara. In August 2015, FIA registered an FIR against the revenue officers of Depalpur and took all the record into their possession.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the issue and sought a report from Chairman Chief Minister Inspection Team (CMIT) and Commissioner Sahiwal. On the recommendations of their report, while suspending all the accused officials including AC Deplapur, the CM ordered Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab to probe into the affairs and strict department and criminal actions may be taken against the accused involved in the case. the CM had also ordered Commissioner Sahiwal to take necessary steps immediately to cancel the fake mutation and restore the original status of this property.
On Monday, September 21, 2015, the ACE was barred from further probe by the Additional Chief Secretary Punjab citing the jurisdiction issue. He observed that FIA should continue its investigations and ACE may assist them in this regard as even after 18th Amendment ETPB hasn’t been devolved to the provinces as yet.
So far, FIA could arrest only one accused Naib Tehsildar in the case and some of the remaining accused persons are on pre-arrest bails. But, ironically, the main accused in the whole fiasco, former AC Asif Rauf Khan didn’t obtain his bail nor has been arrested so far.
FIA officials told The News on Tuesday that after the settlement of jurisdiction row between the FIA and ACE Punjab, they would start a manhunt for the accused on priority basis. They said efforts were underway to get bails of accused cancelled. They said matters would more clear once the illegal mutation of 984 acres was cancelled by the ADC.
Talking to The News on Tuesday, Commissioner Sahiwal Azmat Mahmud said the matter was in the court of ADC Revenue and he would decide the case on priority basis. —Shahid Aslam