Land fraud case Bahria Town files review plea

RAWALPINDI, Oct 13: The management of Bahria Town on Saturday filed a review petition with Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench challenging its observations in validating the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE)’s inquiry into a land fraud case in which property tycoon Malik Riaz and his son were implicated.

A division bench on September 20, while deciding the ACE petition regarding transfer of the 1,401 kanal land fraud case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had validated the inquiry report.

The petition filed by Col (retired) Saeed Akhtar, Bahria Town’s general manager, and Mohammad Iqbal, another official, through Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan cited the ACE Punjab, the National Accountability Bureau and others as respondents.

The petition said the division bench of Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Maqbood Ahmed Bajwa in its judgment had passed some observations on even those matters which were not pending before the court.

Challenging the bench’s remark that the ACE reinvestigated the matter after receiving instructions from the Supreme Court, the petition contended that the apex court had never issued any directive to investigate any aspect or reinvestigate the matter as a whole. “It was rather the director general ACE who sought time saying he was himself looking into the case and then constituted a four-member team to probe the scam.”About the court’s observation that the Bahria Town management was the beneficiary of the mutations, the petition said the ACE had itself admitted that there was no loss occurred to any landowner and that it was not even a case of any ‘loss’ rather ‘a case of forgery’ only. Therefore, there could be no beneficiary in the scam. It added that the Bahria Town management was, in fact, the victim of the land fraud case but it was projected as a beneficiary.

The petition said the observations even if not relating to the issues before court could still have or likely to have an effect on the rights and interests of the parties.“In the instant case, there is a direct relevance and nexus with the pending controversies between the parties which are yet to be determined and adjudged by the court of competent forum,” the petition said. It requested the court to modify its judgment under a judicial review to the extent of its observations pointed out in the petition.