Land compensation case CDA on the verge of facing contempt

ISLAMABAD, March 16: Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday warned Capital Development Authority (CDA) either to evolve a strategy to compensate the affected land owners in four days or be ready to face contempt of court proceedings.

While hearing land compensation cases of about 500 affected land owners of different villages from the area of sectors H-16 and I-17, Justice Qureshi directed CDA`s Director Land Captain (retired) Fariduddin to submit solid solution for compensation by March 21 when he was informed that CDA chairman was engaged in the Supreme Court in another case.

The petitioners went into litigation in January 2010 as CDA failed to pay them cost of their built-up property and of their land that the authority acquired for the said sectors in 2009.

The court in March 2010 while disposing of their petitions had directed the CDA to compensate them. On non-compliance, the petitioners contacted the court again for implementation of its orders in January 2011.

On Friday director land assured the court that compensation cases of affected villagers were in process. Malik Tariq Noon, the counsel of affected land owners told the court that Legal Advisor CDA Ramzan Chaudhry in July last year had given undertaking in the court assuring his utmost and sincere efforts for expediting the compensation cases but he did nothing so far.
He alleged that the authority had paid over Rs3 billion to 70 investors and even paid Rs7.6 million to influential people in February 2012. According to him, relatives of the property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain and Nawaz Khokhar were among the recipients.

He added that CDA announced the award of sector H-16 and I-17 in January 2009 and started payments to the influential investors in April 2009 who had already bought land at the site.

He pointed out that CDA had so far paid Rs3 billion for 2,800 kanal land in the two sectors but could not get possession of even a single kanal there as the built-up property on the said land was still unpaid. It is pertinent to mention that CDA in September last year had offered five options including land sharing and deferred payment to the affected land owners of the two sectors but the villagers rejected all of them.