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KARACHI, Dec 13: An anti-corruption court on Monday granted bail to a district officer of the Karachi city government allegedly involved in a land scam case.

The district officer of the city government (defunct Karachi Development Authority wing), Najamuddin Sikandar, was arrested by the anti-corruption establishment (ACE) on Dec 9 for his alleged involvement in instituting a fake file of a plot measuring 1,076 square yards in Clifton and allotting it to co-accused in 1997.

The suspect moved the bail application through his counsel Tariq Humza stating that the alleged offence was committed in 1997 while he was appointed district officer (land) in 2002.

He stated that the FIR was also illegal as the ACE had no authority to investigative the cases pertaining to private lands.

The suspect, who had been remanded in anti-corruption police custody on Dec 10, was on Monday produced before Judge Rashida Asad who remanded him in judicial custody and took up the bail application.

After hearing the arguments, the court granted him bail against the surety bond of Rs50,000 and directed the investigation officer to complete the investigation and submit a charge-sheet.

According to the prosecution, the then officials of the KDA in connivance with some staff of the KDA, estate agency and private persons had instituted a forged document in 1997 and fraudulently allotted the land in question to Mahvish Siddiqui and her son.

A case (FIR 32/2010) was registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Anti-corruption Act-II, 1947 on the complaint of Syed Ijaz Ali Naveed, who claimed to be the real owner of the land in question.

The then additional directors of the KDA, Abdul Ghaffoor Jokio and Mohammad Arshad Khan; KDA clerical staff Abdul Rasheed, Zahid Khan and Naseem; storekeeper Mohammad Iqbal; estate agent Abdul Ghaffar Memon; Mahvish Siddiqui, her husband Jahangir Siddiqui and their son Ali Jahangir Siddiqui; and Tariq Usman Bhatti were also nominated in the FIR.

Meanwhile, the anti-corruption establishment has arrested one of the nominated suspects, Zahid Khan, in Karachi and will produce him in court on Tuesday for remand.