HYDERABAD: Accountability Court Hyderabad judge Inam Ali Kalhoro on Wednesday sentenced the former administrator of the Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) Employees Cooperative Housing Society Asif Haroon Memon to six years in prison and a fine of Rs17.5 million in a government land scam case.
Mr Memon was on pre-arrest bail and was taken into custody and sent to the Nara prison after announcement of the judgement.
He was represented by advocate Riazat Sahar.
Ghous Bux Kaheri was the National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor.
The reference against the former administrator was filed in 2015 by NAB mentioning that he fraudulently approved a layout plan of phase-1 and 2 of the society in Kohsar, deh Ganjo Takkar, Latifabad, in March 2011.
It was claimed in the reference that a large number of plots were shown illegally and sold in the open market at exorbitant rates.
The reference said that an inquiry was authorised and it was later converted into an investigation by the director general of NAB on March 30, 2015.
It said that during the course of investigation it was revealed that the accused as administrator of the HDA Employees Cooperative Housing Society (HDAECHS) was found involved in corruption and corrupt practices by misuse of authority.
He committed serious violations of the Cooperative Societies Act 1925, Sindh Cooperative Housing Authority Ordinance 1982 and by-laws of the society by fraudulently revising layout plan of HDA Employees Society. He made illegal allotment and subsequently leased out plots to non-members of the society.
The investigation revealed that the land on which alleged plots were carved out did not fall in the area of HDAECHS and the said land belonged to the HDA.
The accused illegally allotted 61 plots and subsequently leased out the plots through fake revised layout plan of the society.
The NAB reference said that the administrator had also fraudulently transferred a genuine plot No A-1 measuring 400sq yd to one Deewan Ali Rajput whereas the same plot was already sold by genuine allottee Mohammad Iqbal to one Sikandar Ali.
The investigation revealed that the accused with mala fide intention violated laws and retained possession of the society’s accounts to siphon off Rs27.822m.
The court in its order said that the accused was convicted and sentenced under Section 10(A) of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 read with Section 265-H(II) of the Criminal Procedure Code to suffer rigorous imprisonment for six years.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs17.54m and in case of non-payment of the fine, the same shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue from him.
The court noted that the prosecution had successfully proved the case against the accused beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Riazat Ali Sahar argued that NAB didn’t produce alleged fake layout plan in court. He said that along with the administration, the society’s secretary had also signed cheques but he was not nominated in the case by NAB.
He said that NAB had also not produced documentary evidence of plot No A-1 of Deewan Ali Rajput to show it was illegally sold.
He said that 32 cheques were signed but NAB did not specify those cheques clearly.