LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) administration on Tuesday launched a probe under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (Peeda) Act of 2006 against seven of its officers in a bogus allotment of plots case.

A three-member committee, consisting of LDA Additional Director General (Housing) Awais Mushtaq, Director (Housing)-X Ali Bin Sohail, and Law Director Waqas Baig, has also been directed to determine the role of Shakeel Anjum Minhas (then chairman allocation committee/director town planning) and Qamar Zahoor (assistant director), according to an official notification.

Those facing the probe are Law Director Sabtain Raza Qureshi (then director of housing-VII/member allocation committee), Deputy Director-IT Syed Jahanzebul Hassan (then IT director and member allocation committee), Deputy Director IT Imran Akhtar (then secretary allocation committee), Private Secretary Sarfraz Ahmad Khokhar (then estate officer housing-II), Enforcement Inspector Malik Zulifqar Ali, Sub-Engineer Azhar Ali Butt, and Patwari Muhammad Nadeem Ahmad.

The order states that Mr. Qureshi, in violation of the guidelines approved on March 16, 2010, for the allocation of plots through computerised balloting, advised the allocation committee chairman to add plot Nos. 2-B, 3-A, and 3-B in Block-R (Johar Town) to the LDA plot bank, which were actually not vacant at the site and were part of the hotel named Park & Pool.

Mr Qureshi and Mr Hassan, being committee members, and Mr Akhtar, being the secretary of the committee, violated the guidelines approved on March 16, 2010, for the allocation of plots by neither raising any objection nor seeking a clear site status from the authority before including the plots in the LDA plot bank.

“Mr Khokhar handed over the physical possession of the plots, which already had a constructed building in commercial use as a hotel. Mr Butt and Mr Nadeem, despite knowing that a constructed building already existed at the site, handed over the physical possession of the plot and did not raise any objection regarding the existence of the structure at the site,” the letter revealed.

Mr Ali, contrary to the actual position, reported the plots as vacant. “Since these acts fall within the purview of inefficiency, misconduct, and corruption, making them liable to be proceeded against under the Peeda, the accused are directed to submit their written defence to the inquiry team within seven days, failing which it shall be presumed that either they have no defence to offer or have declined to offer the same and have accepted the charges,” it concludes.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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