KARACHI: A judicial magistrate on Tuesday remanded in police custody a former office-bearer of the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) for his alleged involvement in facilitating encroachment upon a portion of a service lane along Sharea Faisal for the illegal construction of Nasla Tower.

Currently, the 15-storey commercial-cum-residential building is being demolished on the directives of the Supreme Court.

Plot owner Abdul Qadir, the builders of the project, Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA’s) chairman and SMCHS secretary and other office-beares, director and deputy director of the master plan department, their subordinates have been booked in a case pertaining to illegal construction of Nasla Tower by occupying 341 sq-yds of a service lane.

On Tuesday, the investigating officer produced suspect Naveed Bashir before the magistrate to seek his physical remand for interrogation and investigation.

The IO stated that the suspect during initial interrogation had disclosed that he was serving as the honorary secretary of the SMCHS when it allowed the occupation of the service lane in connivance with the officials of the relevant provincial and civic departments.

The IO said that further disclosures were expected from the held suspect, who might also lead to the recovery of important documents related to the case. He asked the court to grant his 14-day physical remand to complete the investigation and other legal formalities.

However, the judge remanded the suspect in police custody till Jan 21, directing the IO to produce him on the next date along with an investigation report.

According to the FIR, the commissioner was ordered to submit a report to the court after an investigation from various departments related to the tower.

“[When] the Karachi commissioner got the aforementioned plots investigated from all the departments, it was found that the plot [for Nasla Tower] is 780 square yards in the SMCHS papers,” the FIR said.

It added that the society had allotted 780 square yards to the owner/builder, Abdul Qadir, who in collusion with his construction partners and officials from SMCHS, SBCA, Master Plan Department (MPD) and other departments, had built Nasla Tower on 1,121 square yards and sold flats and shops to people.

It said the apex court had ordered the DIG-East to register a case against all individuals involved in the irregularities of Nasla Tower.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2022

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