NAB launches probe into PU’s dubious housing scheme

Published May 22, 2021
According to the complaints filed with the National Accountability Bureau, Punjab University was to acquire 150 acres of land for the project. So far, it has acquired just 80 acres of land. — Photo courtesy Punjab University Facebook
According to the complaints filed with the National Accountability Bureau, Punjab University was to acquire 150 acres of land for the project. So far, it has acquired just 80 acres of land. — Photo courtesy Punjab University Facebook

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched an investigation into alleged mismanagement and financial irregularities in the Punjab University Employees Cooperative Housing society (Town-III) project.

NAB Lahore started the probe on complaints that the PU housing project, launched over five years ago, had yet to see any development work and allotment of plots.

“A number of (PU) employees have been waiting to get their plots despite paying off major chunks of installments,” an official told Dawn on Friday.

NAB has sought claims from the affectees.

“The affectees have been asked to contact the regional bureau of Lahore for submission of their claims against the PU cooperative society,” the official said.

According to the complaints filed with NAB so far, the PU had launched the said housing scheme when Dr Mujahid Kamran was the vice chancellor in 2016.

The varsity was to acquire 150 acres of land for the project. So far, it acquired 80 acres of land. According to the complaints, over 800 plots measuring 5 and 10 marlas and one kanal have been sold to the employees but no development work has been carried out as yet.

“One developer of the scheme has parted ways with the main company. The developer also registered an FIR against the other one, alleging that forgeries have been committed in the signed documents,” it alleged.

Earlier, a NAB reference against Dr Mujahid Kamran regarding illegal appointments in the PU had been filed in the accountability court Lahore in which charges framed against him.

SHEHBAZ’ DAUGHTER: A duty judge of an accountability court on Friday issued a fresh direction to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit details of the assets owned by Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif’s daughter Rabia and son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf as they had been declared absconders in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company’s reference.

In the previous hearing, the investigating officer of NAB was directed to initiate proceedings under Section 88 of CrPC against the absconders and also submit details of their moveable and immoveable assets for the attachment accordingly.

However, NAB failed to submit the record on Friday and the duty judge adjourned the hearing till June 19 with a direction to the IO to submit the required record.

Former chairman Raja Qamarul Islam, also a former MPA of the PML-N, former chief executive officer of the company Waseem Ajmal and other suspects appeared before the court.

NAB alleged that Islam, being chairman of the company, was involved in awarding contracts of 84 water filtration plants at higher prices. It said the suspect had got the contracts of 102 plants approved from the company’s board of directors and committed forgery in documents.

The bureau accused Ajmal of violating procurement rules and permitting the installation of the water filtration plants in Dunyapur tehsil beyond the scope of the project.

Both Islam and Ajmal were arrested by NAB in June 2018 and were released on bail granted by the Lahore High Court on Jan 30, 2019.

Islam said NAB had arrested him a day after he was awarded ticket by the PML-N for 2018 general election against former interior minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, the disgruntled leader of the party, from NA-59, Rawalpindi.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021

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