Islamabad, (TLTP): After a mere 58 years of delay, the Punjab government has finally put in place the terms of reference (TORs) needed to probe allegations of irregularities for allotment of plots in Islamabad. These TORs will also help settle 1928 cases of alternate agricultural land allotment in the Sahiwal district under ‘Islamabad Oustees Scheme’. It is pertinent to mention that the government’s hand was forced by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that has issued a specific directive to the effect.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) was established in 1960 to develop Islamabad and major government buildings in the city. Acquiring land was one of the major responsibilities of this civic body.
The land was acquired under three different categories. CDA offered affectees to choose one of the three options. They could get a plot in developed city sectors or claim monetary compensation or to get agriculture land in colonized districts of the Punjab as an alternative under The Colonization of Government Lands (Punjab) Act 1912.
Appearing before a three-member bench of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during last week in a case over fraudulent double allotment under the Islamabad Oustees Scheme, deputy coordination officer Sahiwal Muhammad Zaman Watto disclosed that a Khalid Mehmood succeeded to get allotment of 2.29 acres in Islamabad despite the fact that his ancestor/predecessor in interest had got alternate agriculture land during 1965 in Sahiwal district.
Suggesting forensic audit of all the 1928 cases referred for alternate allotment in Sahiwal form CDA to dispel doubt, Watto pointed out that record relating to eligibility certificate for alternate land in the case in hand was stolen from record and a criminal case has been registered.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed extreme dismay over this situation. He, asserted the court would have to reach the culprits while saying it is the property mafia that take their clue from CDA records as to which piece of land to grab. He also sought a comprehensive report from the Punjab government on double allotment of land in district Sahiwal and Islamabad under the Scheme. The Chief Justice ordered the provincial government to develop TORs and carry out a forensic audit from the year of 1960 of all the 1928 alternate land cases.
A copy of the TORs is available with the TLTP. These TORs show that during the forensic examination procedure, the number of eligibility certificates issued by CDA for Montgomery –now Sahiwal district for alternate agriculture land since 1960 till present would be examined. It will also determine how many such cases are currently pending in Sahiwal. The forensic probe shall also verify all cases of double allotment or lack of allotment and its subsequent satisfaction in Islamabad or elsewhere exist on record of the CDA. The report of the forensic audit will also show the existing status of all the 1928 such cases as per list of the CDA sent to Sahiwal district.
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