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LDA chief gets bail in housing scam case

Updated February 20, 2019

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Islamabad High Court orders LDA DG to appear before courts in two separate cases. — File photo
Islamabad High Court orders LDA DG to appear before courts in two separate cases. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday granted protective bail to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Amna Imran Khan in cases pertaining to misuse of authority.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, while accepting her plea for a 10-day protective bail, directed her to appear before the relevant courts.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has nominated Ms Khan in two separate cases registered against her by the ACE’s Lahore and Kasur regions.

In one of the first information reports, the Kasur ACE alleged that the LDA chief granted illegal permission to a private housing society — Dream Housing (Pvt) Limited. The FIR stated: “The approach road for the [said] scheme was mentioned through the Khsra Nos… which were owned by Central Government. There was no approach/link to the scheme other than the land owned by the Central Govt. The planning permission to housing scheme was granted by the LDA despite knowing the fact…the act of issuing the planning permission by the authority…is against the rules of LDA.”

IHC orders her to appear before courts in two separate cases

In addition to Ms Khan, the ACE named Dream Housing Ltd operations director retired colonel Ghulam Mustafa Hussain and LDA’s chief metropolitan officer Shakeel Minhas and metropolitan director Muzammil Ishtiaq in the FIR.

In the other FIR, the Lahore ACE named Ms Khan and other LDA officials, including additional DG housing Zareef Iqbal Satti and engineering director M. Inam, and chief executive officer of Pak Lines Cricket Academy Malik Naseer Iqbal as accused.

The FIR alleged that the LDA officials awarded the contract for construction of a stadium to a private contractor without completing any competitive process.

The petition filed in the court stated: “In order to approach the learned courts in Lahore, to avail the remedy of bail before arrest on account of serious apprehension and threat on part of the respondents [IGs Islamabad, Lahore and DG ACE] to effect arrest of the petitioner [she is] availing her constitutionally protected fundamental rights.”

Both the FIRs were based on the information the ACE had received through source reports.

In the petition, Sardar Taimoor Aslam, the counsel for the LDA chief, took the plea before the IHC that Ms Khan was a civil servant in BS-21 with an unblemished service record. “The petitioner is entirely innocent and intends to plead her defence to the best of her abilities before the courts…the allegations against the petitioner are completely groundless/baseless and there is no chance of [her] conviction,” he argued

According to the petition, the ACE initiated the proceedings against her as a result of “political victimisation”.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019