KARACHI: An accountability courts has indicted 18 people, including revenue officials/officers, builders and private persons, in a case pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of 731 acres of valuable state land to DHA City off the Superhighway.
The National Accountability Bureau had filed a reference relating to allotment of 731 acres in Deh Babbar Band, Bula Khan taluka along the Superhighway. The federal anti-graft watchdog had nominated 18 persons for getting the precious government land allotted through fake entries in the land record.
Judge Rashida Asad of the Accountability Court-I read out charges to which they pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case.
The court summoned all prosecution witnesses on the next date to record their testimonies.
The accused government officials are: then mukhtiarkars of Thana Bola Khan Irshad Kamalani, Ghulam Muhammad Memon; then deputy commissioner Jamshoro Sohail Adeeb Bachani; then additional deputy commissioner-I Jamshoro Habib Ahmed; then assistant commissioners Thana Bola Khan Javed Soomro and Mumtaz Ali Channa; then revenue surveyor, director of settlement, survey and land record, Hyderabad Mr Liyar; supervising tapedar Abdul Rahim Burfat; Ghulam Mustafa Dawach, Ghulam Nabi Mallah.
The accused prepared fake record to sell the land to DHA, Karachi
The private persons indicted were Mian Khan Palari, Muhammad Hanif Lalani, Mian Bux Lalani, Imam Bux Lalani, Farooq Qasmani, Muhammad Iqbal and his brothers Ghulam Dastagir Jokhio and Nazir Ahmed Jokhio.
Their indictment said that despite knowing that the fake revenue and survey record pertaining to Survey Numbers 301 to 498 were prepared and valuable government lands measuring over 731 acres and 28 ghuntas were fraudulently sold to the Defence Housing Authority Karachi by the accused officers/officials of the revenue and survey department, Hyderabad together with accused Lalani and others.
The court also charged Lalani with starting efforts to get the backdated letters prepared and signed by mukhtiarkars Baharuddin Mangi and Abdul Latif Brohi, who remained posted in Taluka Bola Khan in 2009 to fraudulently show that the Ghat-Wadh Forms and Survey Numbers were genuine.
The prosecution also named both Mr Mangi and Mr Brohi as witnesses in the reference.
Lalani was also charged with initiating efforts by making requests to the then mukhtiarkar and assistant commissioner, Thana Bola Khan, in 2009 to get the survey numbers (301 to 498) made by them. Moreover, he was charged with hiring the services of Mallah’s being the then Tapedar of the revenue department.
Mallah, who remained posted as Tapedar of Thana Bola Khan (in 2009) during tenure of Mr Mangi and Mr Brohi, was charged with approaching them from time to time and luring them to sign the supporting documents relating to the said Ghat-Wadh Forms in backdates. However, both of them had refused, but as per the plea of accused Lalani and Liyar, accused Mallah managed their fake signatures and brought the signed documents to them, which he together with Lalani, handed over to Liyar.
Subsequently, the court charged them with misusing their official authorities and managing fake, fabricated revenue and survey record relating to 731-28 acres of the government land situated in Deh Badar Band, Tapo Hathal Buth in Taluka Thana Bola Khan of Jamshoro district in the name of the accused persons and causing heavy losses to the government exchequer, thus committing offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9(a)(iii)(iv), (vi) and (xii), punishable under Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.
It also charged the deputy and assistant commissioners, revenue officers and surveyors with conducting illegal survey of the Hyderabad and Jamshoro districts for the purpose of illegal mapping of the DHA City and providing the same to the DHA Karachi illegally.
Private accused persons Mian Bux Lalani and Imam Bux Lalani were charged with obtaining confirmation letters regarding the ownership of the land and no-objection certificate (NOC) for sale to obtain illegal pecuniary benefits in connivance with the revenue officers/officials concerned.
Mian Lalani was also charged with finally selling the land to DHA Karachi through its secretary, retired Brigadier Inam Karim for the sale consideration of Rs1.6 million.
Moreover, as per the registered “Conveyance Deed” No. 23, Book No. 1, dated: 6-3-2015 and Digital Scanning No. 15-30-23, both Lalanis received residential plot files for the area admeasuring 18,000 square yards (360 files for 500 square yards). The market value of these files was estimated at approximately Rs900m.
The private persons in connivance with the officials got fake entries made in the land record and got the same allotted to the large housing scheme in 2015 which caused losses to the tune of nearly Rs3 billion.
It alleged that the government land admeasuring approximating 523-8 acres (Survey Numbers 359 to 498) situated at Deh Babar Band, Tapo Hathal Buth, Thana Bola Khan, Jamshoro near Super Highway (M-9) were fraudulently sold to DHA Karachi in 2015.
It further mentioned that two revenue entries (126 & 127) both dated March 30, 2015 along with two corresponding registered documents, according to which DHA Karachi purchased 523-8 acres from accused Imam Bux, Mian Bux and Javed Hussain at the sale consideration of approximately Rs9,250 per acres and the sellers were paid by DHA Karachi in the shape of 733 files of residential plots, each measuring 500 square yards, at DHA City Project.
The prosecution further mentioned that 208-20 acres situated in the same vicinity and (Survey Nos.301 to 358) was also purchased by DHA Karachi from accused Mian Khan Palari, who was paid in terms of 402 plot files and in this way total land measuring approximately 731-28 acres and bearing survey Nos 301 to 498 were sold/purchased to/by DHA Karachi in consideration of 1,135 plot files.
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018