LAHORE: An accountability court on Monday extended judicial remand of Lahore Development Authority’s (LDA) former director general Ahad Khan Cheema and four others in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam.

Earlier, jail officials presented the suspects before the court while a prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) stated that the Punjab Land Development Company signed a contract in 2015 but failed to complete the project of Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme despite a lapse of three years.

He said Cheema being head of the LDA awarded a Rs14 billion contract to a joint venture led by Lahore Casa Company in violation of rules. He said according to laws, a contract above Rs150 million could not be given to any company without bidding.

The court extended for 14 more days the judicial remand of Cheema, Shahid Shafiq, Bilal Qidwai and Imtiaz Haider.

Cheema was arrested by the NAB on Feb 21 on charges of misusing his authority with criminal intent and awarding Rs14 billion contract of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal society. It said procurement rules had been violated by the former LDA chief.

The NAB alleged that Bismillah Engineering of Shahid Shafiq was a proxy firm working on behalf of Paragon City Developers (Pvt) Ltd. It further said Cheema received illegal gratification in the form of 32 kanal from the owners of Paragon developers.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2018

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