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Babar Awan turns upon PPP

June 27, 2012


ISLAMABAD, June 26: PPP Senator Babar Awan used to defend his party as law minister but now wants it to be probed for alleged malpractices.

In a petition filed on Tuesday, the estranged senator requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to call the records of commercial and residential land allotted, allegedly illegally, by the present PPP-led government and that of General Pervez Musharraf which preceded it.

Sen Awan cited as respondent the secretary of Cabinet Division, the chairman and directors estate, planning, land, finance, municipal administration of the Capital Development Authority, in-charge Saidpur village and special projects and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He requested the court to seek details of all plots, sites, shops, kiosks and restaurants auctioned, allotted or leased out without publication of proclamation in the press from the year 1999 to date with the names of the purchasers along with the price fetched.

Mr Awan remained federal minister from September 2008 to April 2011 and also worked as the in-charge minister for CDA during 2008 and 2009.

In the petition, Senator Awan without naming Faisal Sakhi Butt criticised his appointment as head of the CDA task force and said the act of giving the civic agency under the task force was unconstitutional. He alleged that, “in sheer disregard of the provisions of the constitution and law, CDA has been made subject to a local businessman and known property dealer for the reason best known to the respondents.”

The petition said that in violation of land disposal policy of the CDA as well other laws, merits and fair play; hundreds of sites have been allotted on the recommendations of outsiders, the details of which are available with the CDA.

The petition said public parks, green areas, and all other plots allocated for social as well as educational activities had been given to undeserving people on throwaway prices without considering their market values though these sites were worth billions of rupees.

All this was done without any auction or public notice in order to give a cover-up to the secret activities of outsiders and also to benefit the so-called allottees who are encroachers under the law.

The petition claimed that the move on part of the respondents was a result of secret deals stultifying the mandatory provisions of law and the constitution which envisaged that no allotment, auction of plots and sale of public property shall be made without publication in the press not only in order to ensure transparency in the process but also to ensure attracting a large number of public to fetch maximum price.

It alleged that the respondents purposely, wittingly and intentionally caused loss to the public exchequer by making fraudulent, secret deals, and unauthoritised allotments at prime places throughout Islamabad like Rawal Dam, Saidpur model village, Gun Club and all other key locations.

He said the CDA officials were hiding the record from the public and despite hectic efforts of the petitioner could not provide him the record under Article 19-A related to access to information.

Meanwhile, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui rejected the apology of CDA officials who were issued a show-cause notice for violating the court order regarding meeting local businessman Faisal Sakhi Butt.

The court ordered the director general Gulam Sarwar Sindhu and director municipal administration Mansoor Ali Khan to file reply to the show-cause notice issued on May 29.

Justice Siddiqui on May 14 had banned the entry of Mr Butt into the CDA premises and restrained the civic agency’s officials from meeting him.