Friday May 20, 2022

ACE books 21 over illegal approval of Nasla Tower

January 21, 2022
ACE books 21 over illegal approval of Nasla Tower

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) registered a case against 21 suspects, including the builder of the Nasla Tower, two former chiefs of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and officials of various civic agencies and government departments.

The case was registered to comply with an order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in which the apex court had ordered police and ACE to take departmental action and register cases separately against owners of the building, and officials concerned of the SBCA, Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) and government departments for giving approval of the Nasla Tower in violation of the law.

The Karachi police have also prepared a final ‘challan’. “We have nominated 24 suspects in the FIR,” confirmed District East Investigations SSP Altaf Hussain while talking to The News. “We are going to submit the challan to the court on Friday or Saturday.”

Meanwhile, an ACE officer on condition of anonymity said that the establishment had completed the first two phases of action against the suspects, which were inquiry and registration of an FIR. He added that in the third phase, which was likely to happen soon, the suspects nominated in the FIR would be arrested.

“One key suspect – former SBCA DG Manzoor Qadir Kaka — is already abroad and it is being told that the nominated suspects have already applied for protective bail. But we don’t think that they would get bail easily,” he said.

An FIR No 01/22 under the sections 409, 420, 468 and 471/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with 5(2) of Act-II of 1947 on behalf of ACE Inspector Zahid Hussain Mirani was registered against SMCHS chairman and member Ghalib Mansoor, honorary secretary Naveed Bashir, member Islam A Khan, member Muhammad Asif A Kareem and member Younas Hashmi.

Also nominated in the FIR are then Master Plan Department (MPGO) EDO Hafiz Muhamamd Javed, then MPGO additional district officer Wilayat Ali Data, MPGO DDO Bashir Ahmed Khan, Additional DO Irfan Ahmed Qureshi, then SBCA director general Kaka, former SBCA director Ashkar Dawar, SBCA structure director Ali Mehdi Kazmi, SBCA Jamshed Town director Safdar Magsi, SBCA design deputy director Farhan Qaiser, SBCA town planning director Khowaja Badiuz Zaman, SBCA town planning deputy director Ali Ghufran, SBCA town planning assistant director Syed Muhammad Zia, SBCA Jamshed Town deputy director Sarfaraz Hussain, SBCA Jamshed Town assistant director Abdul Sami Somro, then Jamshed Town mukhtiarkar Khair Muhammad Dahri and owner of Giga Builders Muzamil Amin Darzi.

The FIR stated that a preliminary inquiry was initiated on directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on December 27, 2021. During the course of inquiry, relevant documents from the SMCHS, SBCA, mukhtiarkar Jamshed Town and Ferozabad, KMC and MPGO were secured and statements of witnesses — Mazhar Ali Memon, (OS, SMCHS), Shahid Ali Khan (AD Master Plan/MPGO), Muhammad Ali Khowaja (AD, TP, SBCA), Niaz Hussain Leghari (AD, SBCA Jamshed Town), Syed Ali Karim Shibli (AD Design, SBCA) and Syed Murtaza (DD Structure, SBCA) were recorded.

It further stated that the inquiry revealed that the management of the SMCHS in connivance of Darzi issued letters for allotment of extra land of 264 square yards in 2006-07 that was meant for amenity/service road and forwarded the matter to the MPGO for conversion of land use from residential to commercial for 1,044 square yards without proper title documents of the alleged plot whose sub lease was only for 780 square yards.

On the basis of such increase, Jamshed Town Mukhtiarkar Dahri made an illegal entry. Subsequently, during 2010, extra land of 77 square yards was allowed and such matter was referred to the MPGO for conversion from residential to commercial for 1,121 square yards.

Officers of the MPGO in connivance of each other and the builder issued the conversion order of the plot firstly for 1,044 square yards in 2007 and secondly for 1,121 square yards while in the approved layout plan, it was only 780 square yards.

The officers of the SBCA in connivance of each other and the builder during 2013-14 processed and approved the TP NOC and building plan of the Nasla Tower for the construction of the building on 1,121 square yards.