ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) during a meeting of parliamentary panel on Friday suspected that former Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman and members of the CDA board may have committed wrongdoings in the Grand Hyatt case.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was briefed by an FIA deputy director at Parliament House on alleged corruption in the Grand Hyatt case.

The FIA official said the agency cannot lodge an FIR against CDA officials involved in the case because of a stay order but “once the stay is vacated, we will move”. He said the case lost the national exchequer approximately Rs33 billion.

An Islamabad High Court (IHC) division bench of justices Aamer Farooq and Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb last February restrained the FIA from proceeding against allegations of corruption in the lease deed and subsequent rescheduling of land payments.


Parliamentary body says Grand Hyatt project should be completed for investors’ sake


The official said BNP – the company that carried out the project – received undue favours but lost its legal battle against the CDA a few weeks ago.

He said the company was given the land at a rate below the market price. CDA Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani said the lessee had violated the lease agreement.

The owner of Grand Hyatt, who attended the meeting, defended the project and said they were being victimised by the CDA.

He said a few months before the plot in question was auctioned, the CDA auctioned a plot to a luxury hotel at a rate cheaper than the Grand Hyatt land rate.

A few Pakistanis expatriates who purchased apartments in the building said expatriates who had invested in the project were suffering in the face of the CDA’s cancellation of the lease.

The under-construction hotel lost a battle over the ownership of the plot to the CDA when the IHC dismissed petitions against the cancellation of the lease on which the buildings – for a luxury hotel and serviced apartments – were being constructed.

Justice Minallah’s judgement stated: “Construction of the residential apartments on the plot and the purported sale thereof was illegal, void and in flagrant abuse and violation of CDA Ordinance 1960 read with the Zoning Regulations, Building Regulations and the Building Control Regulations.”

The order also said: “Authority placed on record copies of the internal official notes relating to the plot. It is a reflection of how the officials have been bending over backwards by extending undue benefits to the petitioner/company in complete disregard of the mandatory regulations, thus causing loss to the exchequer on the one hand and enabling the petitioner/company to defraud and deceive members of the general public on the other.”

The matter is still in court, because BNP has appealed the aforementioned judgement, as have the affected people – buyers of apartments in the project.

However, the committee took up the matter on Friday and recommended that the project be completed in the interests of investors, particularly Pakistanis overseas who invested in the project. The committee said the CDA should have taken notice of the alleged wrongdoings at the beginning of the project.

Committee chair MNA Amir Ali Khan Magsi, and MNAs Mohammad Afzal Khan and Shagufta Jumani emphasised that the building should be completed by all means.

“Who benefited, BNP or the CDA, that is a separate chapter, but the building should be completed,” Mr Afzal said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2017

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