ISLAMABAD, Aug 2: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court on Thursday released the bank accounts of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and salaries of scores of its high officials Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the court had frozen on July 23.

Justice Siddiqui had frozen the accounts and “attached” the salaries of over 70 top CDA officials, including its chairman Farkhand Iqbal, for their role in non-payment of Rs12 billion in compensation awarded by a court in 2009 to some 600 land owners for their 16,000 kanals of land acquired by CDA to develop  sectors H-16 and I-17.

Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Mohammad Azim Khan Afridi comprising the IHC division ordered the unfreezing of the accounts and the salaries while hearing CDA’s intra court appeal filed by its legal advisor, Mohammad Ramzan Chaudhry.

Advocate Chaudhry told the court that attachment of the CDA bank accounts disturbed the day to day affairs of the authority and put the safety of the citizen at stake, adding that due to the seizure of bank accounts the authority could not even pay for the re-fueling of fire tenders.

He said the order though was aimed at stopping the salaries of senior officials but in its wake the authority could not pay to the daily wagers.

He pointed out that the order for the attachment of the salaries of the CDA officials was illegal as it would deprive the officers of their fundamental right to receiving salaries for the duties they performed during Ramazan.

He said that the salaries of the officers have been attached without hearing their point of view, adding it was an ex parte decision as the view of the authority has neither been considered nor appreciated and even the arguments advanced by the CDA counsel were not taken into consideration.

Meanwhile, the same court also admitted the appeal filed by CDA chairman Farkhand Iqbal against a show cause notice issued to him by Justice Siddiqui in a contempt of court case.

Justice Siddiqui issued the show cause notice to CDA chairman for sending the threatening message to his subordinate deputy director general Mansoor Ali Khan while he was giving details of alleged corruption of CDA officials. Justice Siddqiui also declared that the action of the CDA chairman was tantamount to interfering in the pending judicialproceedings.

The court after hearing the initial arguments of CDA legal advisor Mohammad Ramzan Chaudhry issued the notices to CDA officer and adjourned the matter till a date to be fixed by the registrar office.

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