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KARACHI: An accountability court on Monday sentenced five accused, including four revenue officers and a private builder, in a case pertaining to illegal allotment and sale of government land by carving out plots, better known as china-cutting.

The convicts — Ahmed Zuhair Madni, Barkat Ali Talpur, Allah Bachayo, Younus Dahri and Ameen Nazeer — were found guilty of illegal allotment of 16 acres of state land in Scheme 33 of Gulzar-i-Hijri and then selling them to citizens by carving out plots.

The accountability court-II judge pronounced on Monday the verdict, which was reserved earlier after recording evidence and arguments from both sides.

The judge also found the four revenue officials guilty of misusing their official authority and allotting the precious government land to the private builder in contravention of relevant laws and rules.

The judge observed in the judgment that the prosecution had established its allegations against the detained accused persons beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt and convicted them.

The court found Ahmed Zuhair Madni, a private builder, guilty of getting the land allotted in contravention of the relevant laws in connivance with the revenue officers and then carving out plots known as china-cutting and selling them to citizens, thus causing loss to the national exchequer.

He was awarded 10-year imprisonment and ordered to pay fine of Rs200 million.

The court awarded seven-year imprisonment to Allah Bachayo, the then executive deputy district officer (revenue), and ordered him to pay Rs20m as fine.

It also handed down 10-year imprisonment to Younus Dahri, the then mukhtiarkar, and imposed a fine of Rs40m on him.

Furthermore, the court awarded seven-year jail term to Barkat Ali Talpur, the then tapedar and imposed a fine of Rs20m.

The court also sentenced a co-accused Ameen Nazeer to 10-year jail term and imposed a fine of Rs40m.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018