Rawalpindi: Property tycoon, son to be indicted on March 2 for Land fraud
RAWALPINDI: On Friday, Rawalpindi’s Accountability Court scheduled for March 2 the indictment of the accused in the land fraud case brought by the Anti–Corruption Establishment against Bahria Town and Punjab revenue department officials.
Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz and his son, Ali, have also been accused in the case.
According to Sardar Zulqarnain, a prosecutor from the National Accountability Bureau, as the NAB has already initiated the process to have the charges against Malik Riaz and his son dropped, the two could not be indicted on March 2.
The case was originally registered on November 4, 2009, on the complaints of residents of villages near Rawat.
Malik Riaz and his son, along with twelve others, were accused of bribing revenue officials in order to have 1,401 kanals of community land, or “shamilat,” transferred to their ownership with fake documents.
Sadaqat Ali Khan, Prosecutor General of Punjab, however, said the bureau’s application – filed under the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 – has not yet been decided on by the court.
On February 16, in fact, the AC judge allowed Khan to present arguments against the NAB’s application.
As long as that application is not approved, the PG told Dawn, the father and son would be indicted as scheduled, along with the other 13 accused.
On Friday, a Punjab government prosecutor, Khawaja Sohail, represented the ACE before Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq. Saying that PG Sadaqat Ali Khan was “busy” in the Supreme Court, he asked the AC to adjourn until a later date.
However, Khawaja Sohail produced before the Accountability Court an order from the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, in which the LHC validated the ACE’s inquiry into the land fraud case in September 2012.
He also submitted a copy of a show–cause notice issued by the LHC to Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokhari, Chairman of NAB, on February 18.
The notice was in response to a petition, from ACE, asking the court to initiate contempt proceedings against Admiral Bokhari for “re–investigating” the case of Malik Riaz and his son.