Production orders issued for ex-KDA chief, two others in plots’ auction case

Dawn

KARACHI: An accountability court on Wednesday issued production orders for the former director general of the Karachi Development Authority and two others asking the jail authorities to produce them in court on April 19 in a reference pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of 65 plots.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against then KDA chief Syed Nasir Abbas, then additional director (auction, land) Khalid Zafar Hashmi, then additional director (admin, land) Saleem Ahmed Zahid and five other former officers — Syed Fazil Ahmed Bukhari, Syed Iftikharul Hassan, Irfan Khan Yousufzai, Nadeem Ahmed Siddiqui and Syed Farzand Ali.
On Wednesday, three held suspects were not produced in court when the matter was taken up by Judge Farid Anwer Qazi of the Accountability Court-IV.
The judge issued production orders for the ex-DG Abbas and then KDA officials Zahid and Yousufzai. They have already been detained in the Karachi central prison in connection with some other cases.
The court also issued a notice to another suspect, Syed Farzand Ali, to appear in court on April 19.
The court also provided copies to the defence counsel for other suspects.
In the reference, NAB stated that an inquiry against the officials of the KDA regarding an auction of 137 commercial plots in Gulistan-i-Jauhar was conducted on March 7 and 10, 2017.
However, the bids were shown to have been received for 85 plots, the reference said, adding that the auction of 67 plots took place on the first date and 18 on the second.
Out of 85 plots, bids for 19 were recommended for rejection/forfeiture and the bid for one plot was cancelled because of a court case while the remaining 65 were recommended for approval, it added.
It stated that the minutes of the said auction were signed and issued by the auction committee, comprising eight officers named in the reference, who had allegedly disposed of/allotted 13 plots — measuring from 400 square yards to 1,380 square yards — located in Gulistan-i-Jauhar’s Block-6, North Karachi’s Sector 5-D, Surjani Town’s Sector 8 and Korangi’s blocks 12-A and 12-B through the said auction proceedings as no bids were called or received from the public, which was evident from the statements of the prosecution witnesses and the bid registrar.
It further mentioned that an investigation revealed that the KDA governing body — headed by then local government minister Jam Khan Shoro and comprising then KDA DG Nasir Abbas, then LG secretary Mohammad Ramzan Awan and two MPAs Jawaid Nagori and Mohammad Sajid Jokhio — in its meeting held in the office of Mr Shoro on May 3, 2017 had approved the recommendations of the auction committee.
Therefore, it was established that under the garb of the open public auction 13 plots were illegally disposed of/allotted by the accused persons in connivance with one another by misusing their authority although the claims regarding those plots were later withdrawn by the so-called allottees.
The anti-graft watchdog maintained that the investigation against former LG minister Shoro and former LG secretary Awan was continuing and a supplementary reference would be filed if any incriminating material came on record against them or any other accused.

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