ISLAMABAD: Expanding an ongoing probe against some officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for allegedly making fraudulent allotment of plots, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has taken into custody 35 more files.

The FIA, which booked 10 CDA officials last month for alleged fraudulent allotment of a plot at I-11 and subsequently arrested some of the nominated accused, confiscated the 35 files from land directorate on the last working day before Eidul Fitr.

“Yes, FIA picked 35 files and we have been cooperating with the investigation agency to nab those who allegedly did wrongdoings,” director land Shafi Marwat said.

Speaking to Dawn on Monday, he said the alleged fraudulent allotments were made with backdated signatures before he assumed the charge.

CDA referred case for investigation after detecting fraudulent allotment of seven plots last year

The scam surfaced in August last year when the security directorate of the CDA confiscated files of seven plots minutes before issuance of their allotment letters from the One-Window Operation Centre of the civic agency. The security directorate conducted a probe and detected fraudulent allotments after which the CDA referred the case to the FIA. After completing the probe into allotment of one of the plots in I-11, the FIA booked 10 CDA officials last month.Sources said after 2017 hundreds of plots were allotted fraudulently with backdated signatures mainly in I-12 and I-11. They said in 2017, the CDA had introduced a standard operating procedure (SOP) under which no plot will be allotted without balloting so that all those whose land had been acquired and who were entitled to get alternative plots in various sectors would get an opportunity to participate in the balloting.

Applying the SOP, the civic agency conducted a balloting in 2017 to allot plots in I-11 and I-12. Sources said after this no balloting was conducted but plots which were available as vacant in the two sectors after the balloting of 2017 were later marked as allotted.

“It is a very simple case. After 2017 balloting, we had around 600 vacant plots in I-12 and I-11(mostly in I-12) but later the vacant plots have been shown as allotted. This means all these plots were allotted fraudulently with backdated signatures to show them as pre-balloting allotments,” said an official of the CDA.

He said since all these allotments were made secretly, in many cases plots were allotted on the basis of fake documents causing huge loss to the exchequer.

“We have nothing to do with the alleged backdated allotments. During my tenure, I never allowed any allotment without following the SOP. To check the authenticity of files/documents, I have also formed a genuineness committee,” the director land said, adding the CDA itself had referred the case of the seven plots to the FIA for an investigation. “We are very open and transparent,” he said.

However, sources said if a thorough probe and audit was conducted by the FIA into the backdated allotments in I-11 and I-13, a large number of CDA officials could be in hot water.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2021

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