Dawn News

More than meets the eye: 532 kanals up for grabs

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: A petition seeking directions to the chief commissioner of Islamabad for implementing its own order against a powerful subordinate – circle registrar – has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The court after preliminary hearing reserved its order on the maintainability of the petition.

The petitioners, Ahsan Imtiaz Bhatti and other members of government officers cooperative farming society (GOCFS) alleged in the petition that the circle registrar cooperative societies, a grade 17 officer of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, in connivance with the powerful land mafia – including brother of a sitting federal minister – initiated a move to deprive the members of GOCFS from their 532 kanals of land worth billions of rupees in the scenic suburb of Islamabad.

The petitioners alleged that the society was being run by the management committee consisting of its elected members but after the expiry of the term of the management committee, Malik Din, the circle register instead of making arrangements for new elections of GOCFS in a transparent manner, on May 18, 2102 appointed an illiterate outsider Mohammad Hanif as administrator of their society.

It is a violation of rules as deputy commissioner Amir Ali Ahmed is the official registrar of cooperative societies and only he has the power to appoint an administrator.

Resultantly, the GOCFS members then filed an application with the chief commissioner Islamabad who after examining the record declared the appointment of Mr Hanif as administrator as illegal on September 7 but failed to undo the appointment because the circle registrar Malik Din did not reverse the appointment, the petition said.

Chaudhry Ihtashamul Haq, counsel for the petitioners adopted before IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui that the actual members of GOCFS remained 45 for over two-and-half decades but after the appointment of an illegal administrator in May this year, the administrator made about 50 new members of the society, despite the fact that there was not a single kanal of land against which these new members were added.

He claimed that the new administrator was appointed by the known land grabbers of Islamabad through an official of the Islamabad administration and he added that the new members will manipulate the forthcoming elections of the society.

Under cooperative society rules, the administrator could not make new members and is only suppose to run day-to-day affairs of the society, he added.

He said that the chief commissioner Islamabad Tariq Mehmood Pirzada on the application of GOCFS members passed an order against the appointment of administrator Hanif but nothing has been done to implement the order.

Circle registrar Malik Din despite repeated efforts could not be contacted for comments. Deputy commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed, however, when contacted admitted that his subordinate assumed those powers for which he was not authorised for and illegally issued notification for the appointment of GOCFS administrator.

“I had sent a report to the chief commissioner in this regard and he would decide for the issuance of show cause notice to Malik Din and registering FIR against the private individual who were also involved in the wrongdoings” said Ahmed.

Islamabad administration also stayed the GOCFS management committee’s elections and the new schedule for these elections would be issued after due course, he added.

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