KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday expressed annoyance at accused for not returning back illegally allotted plot to government and sought an updated report from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in this regard by the 14th March.
A three-member bench of the SHC headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh heard the bail plea filed by Iftekhar Qaimkhani, Mumtaz Hyder, Nazir Zardari and others in a case of alleged illegal allotment of 5,000 square yards plot in Clifton.
The defense counsel told the court that plot was bought by Mumtaz Hyder on commercial basis.
The bench remarked you are admitting this in open court the plot is still under the possession of accused. It asked why plot’s lease was not cancelled?
“First surrender the plot to the government, then hearing of the bail plea will be held,” the CJ remarked
Headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, the two-judge bench also directed the NAB investigation officer (IO) to submit the inquiry report by November 14.
The national anti-graft watchdog informed the court that the 5,000 square yard land was leased to hawkers and shopkeepers in 1980. However, in 2005, the entire land was illegally leased to the DJ Builders.
The NAB had initiated investigations into the alleged illegal allotment of the land on plot 12/7, which was known for its sea-shell stalls. The land’s value was estimated to be Rs10 billion, which is situated near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine – between Bagh Ibne Qasim and Seaview – in Block 3 of Clifton.
The court was also informed that Mustafa Kamal, who was the then city nazim, had given approval for constructing a multi-storey building on the subject land in an illegal manner.
Kamal, at that time, was a leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. However, later, he launched his own party, the Pak Sarzameen Party, after parting ways with the head of his former party.