HYDERABAD: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday restrained Malik Riaz Hussain, chief executive of Bahria Town, from leaving Pakistan while granting him protective/transitory bail in a land-related fraud and forgery case lodged by the additional secretary forests and wildlife, Punjab.
The single-judge bench of SHC Hyderabad granted Malik Riaz, who was present in the court, protective bail for 10 days in a sum of Rs100,000 and a bond in the like amount to be submitted to the additional registrar of the court.
His counsel Saalim Salam Ansari submitted that Malik Riaz Hussain, son of Malik Ashiq Hussain, seeks protective bail in crime No. 20/2018 registered with police station of anticorruption establishment, Rawalpindi, for offence punishable under Sections 409, 109, 420 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.
The counsel contended that the applicant is innocent and has falsely been implicated by the complainant with mala fide intention and ulterior motives. He said his client intended to surrender before the trial court but the anticorruption police had surrounded premises of anticorruption court in Rawalpindi as well as all airports in Punjab.
Grants him bail in land-related fraud and forgery case
He also pleaded that if protective / transitory bail is not granted to Malik Riaz to enable him to surrender before the court concerned, he would be arrested and humiliated at the hands of anticorruption police with mala fide intention.
The court without touching the merits and demerits of the case granted transitory / protective bail to Malik Riaz for 10 days commencing from Oct 9, enabling him to surrender before the court subject to his furnishing solvent surety in sum of Rs100,000 and bond in the like amount.
“Applicant shall not leave country form any airport, railway station, by road or any exit point of Pakistan,” the bail order said. The court said that this order shall cease to have effect on Oct 18 after court / office hours or when the applicant would surrender before the trial court whichever is earlier. The court disposed of the criminal application.
The defence counsel argued in his bail plea that the additional secretary (technical) forestry, wildlife and fisheries department, Lahore, lodged a criminal case against his client on the basis of false, frivolous and concocted story which has no concern with the reality whatsoever. He contended that the FIR on the face of it is bogus and its contents are false as no offence could be made out against the applicant. He said that the inquiry and investigation report is based on fabricated facts in contradiction to FIR.
The contents of FIR attached along with bail application showed that it was lodged by Shahid Rashid Awan, additional secretary (technical) forest, wildlife and fisheries department on Oct 5 in Rawalpindi. It pertained to exchange of forest land measuring 1,170 kanal with M/s Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd. Officers / officials of revenue and forest departments are also booked in FIR.
A formal inquiry was also conducted with the approval of the competent authority on a summary initiated by the chief minister inspection team. The inquiry report proposed that “a detailed survey of government land be got conducted through modern techniques by Survey of Pakistan and possession of forest land encroached by Bahria and other housing schemes be recovered”.
It said that “in other enquiry it has come to the fore that in Lahore, Bahria Town has encroached upon 60 kanal land in Mouza Jalian belonging to PCBL. Therefore, wherever in Punjab Bahria Town is building housing schemes, conducting a detailed survey with modern equipment through Survey of Pakistan is need of the hour”.
It said that “possession of state land on which only roads etc (or even building structures owned by M/s Bahria Town or other private housing schemes) have been constructed should be taken over by government and should be brought into government use”.
The inquiry report added that “where on encroached state land buildings / houses have been constructed which have been sold to private persons / citizens, one of the following two options may be taken – M/s Bahria Town and other private housing schemes be directed to pay current market value of such properties to private owners and possession of such land / buildings be taken over by government for government use”.
Malik Riaz avoided media and left the court premises through an exit point used by lawyers exclusively. He sat in the deputy attorney general’s office before appearing in the court. He is said to have arrived at Hyderabad airport through his chopper.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2018