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NAB gets 45 days to probe land allotment to Bahria Town

NAB gets 45 days to probe land allotment to Bahria Town

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to complete within 45 days its investigation into alleged illegal allotment of state land to Bahria Town, a leading real estate firm.

A two-judge bench comprising Justices Amir Hani Muslim and Khilji Arif Hussain also directed the NAB to file a reference against those involved in the matter before the administrative judge of the accountability courts after completing its investigation.

The bench was hearing a number of applications against illegal allotment of land and adjustment of land in 43 Dehs by the Malir Development Authority.

The counsel for the NAB filed an interim inquiry report in a sealed envelop and informed the judges that the inquiry into the matter had been concluded and converted into investigation.

Read: Projects like Bahria Town ‘are atom bombs for the poor’

He sought sufficient time for completing the investigation into the matter.

Justice Hani asked him as to why further time was required when the NAB had already concluded the inquiry. “The NAB is an independent institution, but that does not entitle it to keep on investigating matters for two or three years and cause harassment to people,” he remarked.

He observed that the NAB was bound to complete investigation within a stipulated time.

The NAB counsel said the matter was very important and the NAB’s investigators were working hard on it. He said the case investigation officer had to record the statements of witnesses, and acquire survey report from the Directorate of Survey of Pakistan, which would take time.

Read: ‘Karachi’s water, electricity being given to Bahria Town, DHA City’

The counsel asked the court to give four more months to the NAB to complete the investigation.

At a previous hearing, the apex court had restrained Bahria Town from undertaking any development activity on the state land allotted to it by the Malir Development Authority illegally and directed the National Accountability Bureau to complete its investigation on the matter within two months.

The NAB prosecutor general had also filed an interim report in a sealed envelop along with a copy of the survey report prepared by the Directorate of Survey of Pakistan, the Ministry of Defence, which was taken on record.

Read: SC bars work on Bahria Town land allotted by Malir Development Authority

According to the survey report, the total land consolidated by the MDA and handed over to the Bahria Town was 9,385.185 acres.

Bahria Town is developing 9, 385 acres of the land located about nine kilometres from Toll Plaza on the Karachi-Hyderabad superhighway.

A civil rights campaigner had moved the court against the MDA for making adjustment of the land for Bahria Town. It was alleged that the MDA was allotted land at low prices to launch schemes for the general public, but the MDA consolidated and gave land to Bahria Town.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2016

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