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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) seems lenient against its senior officers against whom several corruption inquiries were conducted and action recommended during the last five years. The civic agency took action against only 36 low grade officials found involved in 10 relatively minor cases.

In reply to a question by Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Minister of State for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry told the Senate on Wednesday that during the last five years corruption cases were initiated against 36 employees of the CDA and action was taken against them after proper proceedings.

However, the minister’s written reply did not speak about any action in multi-billion-rupee cases such as Monal restaurant, Safa Gold Mall, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Diplomatic Shuttle Service, Centaurus, La Montana restaurant, allotments in Lakeview Park, Arts and Craft Village, surrendering land to private housing societies, G-9 Markaz cinema plot case, grant of dubious NOCs to a number of housing societies, Siraj Covered Market case and the allotment of school plots.

CADD minister informs Senate that action taken against 36 junior officials in 10 corruption cases during five years

The minister said two increments of Deputy Director (Civil) Shahzad Qureshi and Assistant Naveed Lutf were stopped for their involvement in a case related to the “non-encashment of performance security worth Rs187, 907 million.”

Sohail Ursani, Deputy Director General Design, was censured in a case related to the construction of a toll plaza at I.J.P. Road.

While the recovery of Rs589,777 was ordered against 19 officials of Capital Hospital. They also faced withholding of increments for three years for their involvement in discrepancies/embezzlement in the pharmacy stock.

Two officials faced dismissal from service for having fake degrees. The minister said town planner Naveedul Haq was demoted while Haseen Raza Zaidi, Abdul Waheed, medical technologist, and Ali Bokhari assistant director faced minor penalties in a case related to the allotment of plots to the CDA officers.

Eight other officials also faced penalties in five minor corruption cases.

But the CDA adopted a lenient approach towards officials involved in high-profile cases which were probed by federal ministries on the direction of a judicial commission constituted by the Islamabad High Court.

The inquiry officers in these cases directed action against the CDA officials. But in a written reply through the CADD minister the CDA told the National Assembly recently: “Recommendations/findings of the inquiries were submitted to the Prime Minister Office.”

The inquiry committees were tasked to probe 39 cases. The CDA record submitted to the National Assembly on February 1 stated that out of the 39 cases the authority had received inquiry reports on 21 cases and submitted them to the PM office.

“Action against the 36 officials in 10 cases is eyewash. Why no action has been taken against those involved in mega cases worth billions of rupees,” asked a CDA officer.

“Some officers, who allegedly earned millions of rupees, are still enjoying their seats,” said another official of the CDA.

When contacted, Mayor and CDA chief Sheikh Ansar Aziz said all corruption cases would be pursued.

“I will check the status of these cases and initiate action against whoever is found involved,” he said.

CDA spokesperson Mazhar Hussain said inquiries in minor cases took a little time for completion while high-profile cases were time consuming. “This the reason we could not complete high-profile cases so far. It’s a wrong notion that we took action against only 36 officials involved in minor cases. We will also take action against the big fish,” he claimed.

Published in Dawn February 17th, 2017