Land fraud case against property tycoon dropped

RAWALPINDI, March 2: While Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench was examining a contempt petition against the chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for giving a clean chit to property tycoon Malik Riaz and his son in a land fraud case, an accountability court here on Saturday dropped the corruption reference against the two accused on the request of the bureau.

On February 9, NAB had filed an application with the accountability court for withdrawal of the reference in the 1,401 kanal land fraud case in which about a dozen persons, including Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz, were allegedly involved.

According to NAB, the evidence in the land fraud case was not enough to treat Malik Riaz and his son as accused persons in the case.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) registered the case against Bahria Town and some officials of the Punjab revenue department on November 4, 2009, on the complaints of the residents of some villages near Rawat. Malik Riaz, his son and others were accused of bribing the revenue officials to get the 1,401 kanals of ‘shamilat’ or community land transferred to their names on fake documents.

On February 16, 2013, Prosecutor General Punjab Sadaqat Ali Khan on behalf of the ACE requested the accountability court to hear his point of view as well. Continue reading

CDA sleeps over a treasure trove

ISLAMABAD, March 2: It appears that the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) successive regimes have been sleeping over a treasure trove — with revenue targets well within reach — since it emerged that the civic agency can generate around Rs3.2 billion from the sale of signboards and billboards.

The authority’s Directorate of Municipal Administration this year, according to a financial wing official, had generated Rs310 million against a target revenue generation of Rs230 million.

According to the official, the revenue generation audit was conducted mainly to plug in loopholes linked to revenue loss, since irregularities were reported at the directorate of municipal administration.

“The billboard and the hoarding business should have been given to the administrative control of professional marketing and business officials because it is linked with advertisement and marketing strategies,” maintained the official. Continue reading