ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has given a go-ahead signal to Capital Development Authority (CDA) to move against Safa Gold Mall following a Supreme Court order given on June 11.
The mall has three illegal storeys and has been constructed on CDA’s health directorate’s plot.
Sources in the CDA said recently the apex court while hearing a case observed that if Safa Gold Mall was constructed on a hospital plot the plot should be retrieved.
The CDA had auctioned plot No 5 at Jinnah Super in 2010 where its health department was once located. But in a questionable move, the civic agency converted the health facility into a commercial plot.
Later, the plot owner, in connivance with the CDA officials, constructed three unauthorised storeys.
First, the CDA allowed him to construct the additional storeys but later withdrew the permission. NAB also investigated the case and several officials of the CDA faced jail and trial in the scam.
The officials said following recent observations of the Supreme Court, the civic agency before moving to seal the building wrote a letter to NAB seeking its consent as it was investigating the case.
Replying to CDA’s letter, NAB said through a letter dated July 9 that it had carried out an investigation into the affairs of Safa Gold Mall and filed a reference against it last year, and ordered sealing of 5th, 6th and 7th floor of the mall.
However, NAB added: “Since order passed by the Supreme Court on June 11 in a petition regarding Safa Gold Mall, CDA should comply with the order of the apex court in letter and spirit.”
Talking to Dawn, CDA officials said after receiving the go-ahead from NAB the civic agency was now free to take action against the mall. They said the civic body would serve a notice on the management of the mall on Wednesday, seeking vacation of the building. After a few days, the civic body will seal the mall.
The officials said the plot on which the mall had been constructed was cancelled by the CDA a few years ago.
Therefore, the civic agency has the justification to seal the building.
“In the first phase, we will seal the building and then raze it,” said an official.
When contacted, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said NAB’s letter had been received by the authority.
“After receiving the go-ahead from NAB, we will deal with the case of Safa Gold Mall in accordance with rules and regulations,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2019