NAB, builders get three more months to refund full amount in Fazaia scam case

Published November 24, 2020
The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the National Accountability Bureau and M/s Maxim Builders to pay out in full all the affectees of Fazaia Housing Scheme till Feb 25, 2021. — File photo
The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the National Accountability Bureau and M/s Maxim Builders to pay out in full all the affectees of Fazaia Housing Scheme till Feb 25, 2021. — File photo

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the National Accountability Bureau and M/s Maxim Builders to pay out in full all the affectees of Fazaia Housing Scheme till Feb 25, 2021.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha observed that despite the passage of six months, no compliance report was placed on record by NAB.

However, it said the prosecutor and investigating officer informed the bench that around 4,100 people had so far submitted applications and pay orders had been issued to 3,963 of them.

The bench observed that in order to ensure that no affectee was missed out and deprived, another advertisement be circulated in prominent English, Urdu and Sindhi language newspapers within a week under the supervision of NAB asking further affectees to come forward.

SHC is informed 3,963 of total 4,100 people have been given pay orders

The counsel for the builders informed the bench that they were paying out the affectees once NAB verified their genuineness. The counsel said that their bank accounts were frozen, which was making the situation difficult, and they need money in those accounts to pay the affectees.

The counsel pleaded to defreeze all their bank accounts.

“For the time being we consider it appropriate that if there is a certified approval from the NAB for a certain amount of money to be withdrawn from the frozen accounts to pay the affectees this amount can only be withdrawn from the frozen bank accounts which otherwise will remain frozen. Once every affectee has been paid in full this court shall revisit the situation regarding de-freezing of the accounts,” the bench ruled.

While adjourning the matter till Feb 25, it directed that all affectees would be paid out in full and both NAB and Maxim builders would have to file their affidavits to this effect and that they had fully complied with an earlier order of SHC.

On May 19, the bench had allowed the Directorate of Estate Projects, PAF and the builders to settle all the liabilities of the Fazaia Housing Scheme and refund the amounts of the allottees within six months.

While releasing the builders, the bench had also directed the chairman of the NAB to suspend the investigation into this matter and supervise and facilitate both sides to fulfil their agreements and ensure that all the affected people were repaid in full within shortest period of time.

It had also directed NAB to continue its process of inviting claims and verifying the same, but restrained that no money would be released till the next hearing from the attached accounts.

M/s Maxim had entered into a joint venture agreement with the Directorate of Estate Projects, PAF, in 2015 in order to create the “Fazaia Housing Scheme Karachi” and public were given an opportunity to apply for plots.

A large number of people paid substantial amounts of money in respect of such plots. However, in January this year, NAB had arrested the builders for allegedly depriving the public of around Rs13 billion through investments in the scheme.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

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