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September 29, 2020

Official arrested on spurious charges released on bail by anti-corruption court

National

September 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: An official of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), arrested on two spurious charges, has secured bail from an anti-corruption court.

The two first information reports (FIRs) registered by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Rawalpindi against RDA Deputy Director Samiullah Niazi and some other officials of his department contain certain unusual charges. Both the FIRs allege that the RDA officials did not take action against certain ‘illegalities’ being committed by two housing societies in their jurisdiction. However, the RDA record showed that no illegality was committed and both the schemes were approved by the RDA after the required documents were submitted and the no-objection certificates (NOC) were obtained.

The accused were charged with ‘cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, forgery for purpose of cheating, using as genuine a forged document etc’.

One FIR states that acting on a ‘source report’ against a housing society, it transpired that it was involved in the illegal sale of plots without approval from the RDA. “It has come to the ACE’s notice through reliable sources that a fake housing scheme/housing society is being developed at Fateh Jang Road, the new Islamabad airport, without any approval/NOC of local government/RDA.

The society is extorting a huge amount from innocent people on the pretext of plots. However, it has not completed basic requirements which are mandatory for a housing scheme/society. Moreover, the official/officer of local government/RDA also failed to take legal action against the illegal housing society/scheme. Therefore, the society is causing a huge loss to the government exchequer and defrauding the general public by selling illegal plots”. The second FIR, which was lodged on the complaint of a person, cited similar ‘illegalities’ in another housing society. It was alleged that villas and other buildings were illegally constructed.

However, the RDA maintained that all this activity was legal. The ACE had claimed that the ‘illegalities’ continued ‘in connivance’ with the RDA. Niazi’s lawyer Kashif Malik argued that the charges were phony and fabricated. He pleaded that the accused should not be made to languish in jail unnecessarily. He said Niazi was accused of a ‘crime’ he did not commit. He said one of the applicants on whose request an FIR was lodged is of dubious character, as several criminal cases have been registered against him by different police stations in the past.