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SC orders audit of DHA Lahore

September 08, 2015

Email

SC observed that after the 18th Amendment it had now become the responsibility of the auditor general of Pakistan to audit the accounts of all institutions. — AFP/file
SC observed that after the 18th Amendment it had now become the responsibility of the auditor general of Pakistan to audit the accounts of all institutions. — AFP/file

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued directives for audit of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed Chief Justice Jawad S. Khawaja heard the case and ordered the the auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct the audit.

It is pertinent to mention that DHA Lahore was among 19 organisations refusing the AGP to conduct an audit into their financial affairs.

The case at hand involves the possession of 156 kanals of land, which DHA Lahore has dubbed ‘Phase 7’, despite the fact that the individual from whom it purportedly purchased the land for Rs920 million did not own the property. In fact, the court was told that the title belonged to one Nusrat Jehan Khatoon.

In addition, the ownership of this piece of land was already under dispute and a civil court had issued a status quo on April 2, 2004. But DHA, Lahore, not only acquired the land in 2006, even though the title was not in its name, but also issued notifications under relevant laws, announcing that the land had been acquired by the authority.

The court in an earlier hearing (on September 3) also took exception to DHA’s claims of immunity from an audit of their accounts under Article 170 of the Constitution, as a result of which, their accounts had never been audited.

The court observed that after the 18th Amendment it had now become the responsibility of the auditor general of Pakistan to audit the accounts of all institutions.

Related: Is the DHA accountable to the government, asks SC