Lahore: Counterfeit stamp papers land many in trouble
LAHORE: Stamp papers submitted by scores of property buyers in seven private housing schemes of Lahore during the past two-and-a-half years have proved to be fake as no amount has been deposited with either the State Bank or the treasury office against the same.
The ‘missing’ amount is estimated to be in millions of rupees and pertains to Wapda Town, Valencia, Nashaiman-i-Iqbal, Air Avenue, NFC, PIA and GCP, an official of the Punjab Board of Revenue told Dawn.
So far, around 90 per cent stamp papers submitted for the transfer of plots or houses in Valencia, some 50 per cent in Nashaiman-i-Iqbal, Air Avenue, NFC, PIA and GCP and 41 in Wapda Town proved to be fake.
“The stamp papers were bought from vendor Husnain who is at large while his one accomplice is being investigated,” said the official who sought anonymity.
The scam was brought to the knowledge of BoR Inspector of Stamps by the sub-registrars of Data Ganj Bakhsh Town and Allama Iqbal Town after checking relevant record with Lahore Treasury Office-I, State Bank or National Bank treasury and sub-treasury record from 2009 to 2011.
While the managements of six housing societies were ‘looking into the matter’, the administration of Wapda Town has asked its 41 members to immediately pay the stamp paper fee or face legal action.
A majority of the 29 owners of 10-marla plots or houses, 11 of five-marla and one of one kanal told Dawn that the notices issued on Jan 14 and signed by Wapda Employees Co-operative Housing Society Ltd Admin Officer Ghulam Hussain were delivered to them within the last two days or so.
The notice asked the owners of one-kanal plot to deposit Rs80,000, 10-marla (Rs45,000) and five-marla (Rs22,500) as the “cost of stamp papers in State Bank and produce the original challan along with original stamp papers up to Jan 25 (Wednesday) positively, falling which your membership will be cancelled and FIR shall be lodged against you.”
An official of the Wapda Town Co-operative Housing Society confirmed that notices had been served on the owners concerned. “It is the prime responsibility of a buyer to check whether the stamp papers he or she is depositing at the time of transfer of house or plots are original, especially when the deal involves millions of rupees.”
Meanwhile, the victims have appealed to the BoR authorities to take note of the highhandedness of the Wapda Town administration.
“Will a person spending at least Rs2 million to buy a five-marla plot take the risk of deliberately submitting fake stamp papers worth Rs22,500,” argued one of the victims.