KARACHI: An accountability court on Saturday indicted former Karachi mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal and nine others in a case pertaining to alleged illegal amalgamation of commercial land to Bahria Town for a multistorey building in Karachi.
The National Accountability Bureau booked then mayor Kamal, then district coordination officer Fazlur Rehman, then executive district officer Iftikhar Qaimkhani, then district officer Mumtaz Haider, then additional DO Syed Nishat Ali and then sub-registrar-II, Clifton, Nazir Zardari in the alleged corruption of around Rs2 billion.
The court also indicted four builders — Mohammad Dawood, Mohammad Yaqoob, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Rafiq — all associated with DJ Builders and Developers.
On Saturday, Judge Dr Sher Bano Karim of the Accountability Court-III read out charges against the accused persons, who denied them and opted to contest the case.
The judge summoned prosecution witnesses on Dec 5 to record their testimonies in the case.
In the meanwhile, the judge separated the case against an absconding accused, Zain Malik, and issued a perpetual warrant for his arrest.
According to NAB, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in 1982 created 198 stalls/shops on two amenity plots adjacent to the Kothari Parade for dislocated hawkers while four commercial plots, each measuring 255.55 sq yds, were also created in the locality.
It alleged that DJ Builders purchased four commercial plots and 198 stalls of the hawkers. However, the two amenity plots were never transferred in the builder’s name.
NAB further alleged that Zain Malik and others associated with DJ Builders in connivance with the then Karachi mayor, then DCO and others unlawfully got transferred 102 stalls in favour of Bahria Town Private Limited through a conveyance deed without obtaining permission from the Karachi Development Authority.
The reference claimed that the price of these stalls was shown in the registration deed as only Rs260 million whereas the market value was assessed at Rs2.155bn and forced sale value was adjudged at Rs1.724bn.
It claimed Zain Malik was the subsequent beneficiary of the amalgamated plot, which was illegally transferred in the name of Bahria Town with active connivance of the main beneficiary (DJ Builders and Developers) and the sub-registrar-II, Clifton.
In September, the judge had dismissed an acquittal application of Malik, who withdrew the same and informed the court that he might opt for a plea bargain with NAB.
According to his defence counsel, Mr Malik wanted to withdraw his acquittal application filed under Section 265-K of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) read with Section 4(2)(b) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
The counsel had informed the court that Zain Malik had already reached a settlement in three other cases with NAB authorities, who had accepted his plea bargain. Subsequently, the relevant accountability court in Rawalpindi had also approved his plea bargain settlement with NAB in those matters, the counsel maintained.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020