DHA-City land ‘scam’: LHC dismisses Kamran Kayani’s plea against NAB action

Published March 3, 2020
The Lahore High Court on Monday, sustaining a registrar office objection, dismissed a petition by Kamran Kayani, a proclaimed offender in billions of rupees DHA-City land ‘scam’, challenging actions taken against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). — File
The Lahore High Court on Monday, sustaining a registrar office objection, dismissed a petition by Kamran Kayani, a proclaimed offender in billions of rupees DHA-City land ‘scam’, challenging actions taken against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). — File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday, sustaining a registrar office objection, dismissed a petition by Kamran Kayani, a proclaimed offender in billions of rupees DHA-City land ‘scam’, challenging actions taken against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The office had objected that the power of attorney issued to his lawyer by the petitioner, who happens to be brother of ex-army chief retired Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kayani and lives in United States, had not been attested by the Foreign Office of Pakistan.

Kamran Kayani had not been arrested in the case.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh took up the petition as “objection case”.

Advocate Nadeem Kausar, the counsel for Mr Kayani, argued that the law allowed a person to get power of attorney attested from notary public in the country of current residence or the foreign office of his native country.

He also referred to a 2007 decision by a division bench of the LHC in support of his arguments and said attestation from the foreign office was not necessary.

The bench asked the counsel didn’t he think the petitioner should have surrendered before the law first since he was an absconder for last five years.

The counsel, however, said he would address this point of law at a later stage once the bench decided on the office objection.

After hearing the counsel, the bench reserved its decision and announced the same after a while, sustaining the registrar office objection and dismissing the petition.

Mr Kayani in fact filed two separate petitions against the NAB for implicating him in two references – DHA-City and Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme.

An accountability court had declared Kayani a proclaimed offender in 2016, while the NAB had been clueless about his whereabouts. Two other suspects in the DHA-City scam -- Hammad Arshad and retired Brig Khalid Nazir Butt -- have already been indicted.

In the first reference, the NAB alleged that Globaco (pvt) Ltd of Arshad secured a contract from DHA-EME in 2009 to acquire 25,000 kanals of land for the establishment of DHA-City.

However, the company failed to acquire the agreed land and issued allotment letters and collected around Rs15.47 billion from the public. The suspect allegedly transferred the amount to his personal accounts and used the same for other businesses.

Mr Butt was former project director of DHA-City and accused of misusing his office and rendering illegal benefit to Mr Arshad. The bureau also alleged that Elysium Holdings Pakistan Limited, owned by Mr Kayani, was a facilitator and beneficiary of the scam.

The other, Ashiana reference, was mainly filed against PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif for misusing his powers as chief minister of Punjab.

The bureau said Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), following due approval of its Board of Directors (BoD), awarded a contract for infrastructure development of the low-cost scheme to successful bidder -- M/S Ch A Latif & Sons in 2013.

However, Mr Sharif acting “unlawfully” on a so-called complaint by CONPRO Services (Pvt) Limited, allegedly owned by Kayani, assumed powers of the PLDC’s BoD and referred the matter to Anti-Corruption Establishment to kneel down the successful bidder.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2020

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