RAWALPINDI, June 21: Property tycoon Malik Riaz witnessed another bad day on Thursday as he lost two cases in Lahore High Court (LHC) that was followed by a local court issuing his arrest warrants in land fraud case.
The first shock for the real estate tycoon came when Justice Chaudhry Shahid Saeed of the LHC Rawalpindi bench declared the merger of 2,882 kanals land of Revenue Employees Cooperative Housing Society (RECHS) with Bahria Town (BT) illegal.
Justice Saeed also directed Bahria Town to provide plots of their choice to the petitioners within two months or pay the market price of their plots now occupied by residents of Askari-XIV developed by Defence Housing Authority DHA after getting the RECHS land from BT.
Former Rawalpindi district coordinator Hamid Ali Khan was arbitrator in the agreement signed between Col (retired) Abdullah Siddiqui, the then assistant director National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Malik Riaz Hussain chief executive of BT.
The court declared the February 17, 2005 agreement signed between RECHS and BT as null and void and directed anti-corruption establishment (ACE) to initiate action against those government officials involved in unlawful deal.
It is to mention here that summary for approval of the merger of housing society for government officials was signed by then chief minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and it was submitted by then chief secretary Kamran Rasool whereas it was signed by then secretary cooperative societies Farkhanda Waseem Afzal. The land was transferred through different mutations in the name of Bahria Town.
The land, however, was further sold by the private housing society to the DHA in 2006 which developed Askari XIV on it falling in the areas of Morgah and Jarahi. Assistant Advocate General (AAG) Rashid Hafeez the counsel for Punjab government opposed the merger calling it unlawful.
Later, while hearing 20 petitions of affectees of DHA phase II extension Justice Saeed set aside the acquisition of land in the areas of Kahuta, Kallar Syedan and Rawalpindi tehsil by Punjab government in 2006 for Army Welfare Housing Society later DHA.
The court declared the acquisition of some 9,996 kanals for DHA phase II extension in different villages including Daducha and others as unlawful because there was no public purpose involved in obtaining the land saying the land was only being obtained for DHA that is a housing scheme eyeing only on profit.
The then Punjab government also issued emergency orders for land acquisition depriving the land owner of their rights to raise objections.
According to AAG Hafeez, the land was acquired by the DHA which engaged Bahria Town for its development.
Meanwhile an anticorruption court of Rawalpindi issued fresh arrest warrants of Malik Riaz, his son Ali Riaz and five others for failing to appear before the court in a case of allegedly purchasing 1,401 kanals land in Rawat area in 2009 on fake identities and forged documents. Special Judge Anti-Corruption Chaudhry Ameer Mohammad Khan issued the arrest warrants after both the accused did not appear in the court to face the trial in the case. The court adjourned the hearing till June 25.
According to Public Prosecutor Khawaja Sohail, earlier in October 2011, the same court had issued arrest warrants for tycoon and his associates on the FIR no. 29 of 2009 on the complaint of private persons but the recent warrants have been issued in another FIR of the same case registered by ACE on the basis of source report.