Karachi: 3 KDA officials jailed for one year in graft case
KARACHI: An anti–corruption court sentenced on Tuesday three directors of the defunct Karachi Development Authority and an estate agent to one year in prison in a fraud case. The court found Azam Ali Leghari, the then additional director, Khurram Arif and Zahid Amin, the then assistant directors of the KDA and property dealer Raees Alam guilty of fraudulently allotting a 600–square–yard plot in Gulshan-i-Iqbal in 1997. Judge Rashida Asad of the Special Provincial Anti–Corruption Court, Karachi, also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 each and in case of non–payment the convicts would have to undergo an additional three–month imprisonment.
The court in its verdict ruled that the documentary evidence furnished by complainant Qamar Bano about the plot in question was declared genuine and the documents of the accused party were found forged.
Accused Raees had submitted a fake power of attorney for the allotment of the plot and it was the duty of the directors of the KDA to assist and approve the case of transfer, but they approved the allotment on the basis of forged documents, it added.
The court further observed that there was nothing on the record that the officials of the KDA responded to the application of the complainant and they remained silent spectators and did not try to undo the wrong allotment.
However, the court acquitted co-accused Ijaz and Aurangzab, two other property dealers, for want of evidence and observed that their case was on a different footing.
Earlier, the same court had rejected a report of the investigation officer in which he stated that the anti–corruption committee-I headed by the chief secretary had recommended that the graft charges against the three KDA officials be dropped and requested the court to discharge them from the case in May 2010.
According to the prosecution, a complaint of the incident was filed with the anti–corruption establishment which stated that the owner of the plot, Qamar Bano, was living in Saudi Arabia and the accused had prepared a fake power of attorney and other documents and in collusion with the KDA officials fraudulently transferred her plot and sold it out.
Following an initial inquiry, a case (FIR 15/2009) was registered against the KDA officials and estate agents on May 26, 2009 under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(using as genuine a forged document) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 at the anti-corruption establishment police station.
The accused were on bail and after the pronouncement of the verdict they were taken into custody and sent to prison with conviction warrants to serve out their sentence.
Syed Junaid Alam Rizvi, counsel for convict Arif, misbehaved with some media persons on the court’s premises shortly after the pronouncement of the verdict and threatened them not to report the conviction handed down to his client.