Pakistan News

Intelligence Bureau accused of avoiding housing society graft probe

ISLAMABAD: The Fede­r­al Investigation Agency has accused Intelligence Bureau’s senior officials of defying the Supreme Court’s order by avoiding a probe into the alleged large-scale financial bungling in the affairs of their housing society.

An FIA report submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in response to the petition of the Intel­ligence Bureau Employees Cooperative Housing Society (IBECHS) against an ongoing investigation of the FIA into the alleged tax evasion, illegal extension and commercialisation of the housing society contended that the probe against the society had been initiated in compliance with the apex court’s directions.

The Supreme Court had on Jan 15, 2019 directed the FIA to probe into the alleged corruption and malpractices of housing societies.

The IBECHS management committee comprising senior officers of the intelligence agency challenged the FIA’s investigation, contending that since a probe into its financial affairs had already been concluded, the matter could not be reinvestigated.

However, the FIA report stated that the case was never closed as a joint investigation team (JIT) that probed the housing society recommended site inspection of phases I and II of the society. Subsequently, the investigation agency sought records from the housing society as well as the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

“The petitioner society/IBECHS has not provided the same and instead filed the instant petition in this Hon’ble Court. FIA’s Inquiry unlawfully being dragged on…and cannot be concluded unless and until the accused society provides the requisite record, join inquiry/investigation,” the FIA report stated.

It pointed out that “in view of large scale loot and plunder of the housing/cooperative housing societies, the apex court… directed the FIA to constitute a Joint Investigation Team comprising senior directors of FIA, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) of the provinces and district collectors for conducting forensic audit”.

The IBECHS, it stated, “instead of joining inquiry/investigation… hesitant to present justifications of alleged large scale financial bungling of its management/employees who are the public servants”. The FIA requested the court to dismiss the society’s petition.

Last year, the FIA’s report on the forensic audit of housing societies furnished before the Supreme Court in a suo motu case stated that 38 out of a total of 66 in the federal capital have been recommended for further inquiry; 16 of 98 in Punjab Zone-I have been recommended for probes; nine out of 42 in Punjab Zone-II are on the red line; 164 out of 282 in Sindh Zone-I and 41 out of 117 in the Sindh Zone-II are in the grey list; one out of 36 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa requires a probe and 10 out of 26 in Balochistan need investigations.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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