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    Monday, 19 June 2017

    NAB officers occupy seized houses- Whether it is not corruption ?

    MULTAN,June 19: Some officers of the National Accountability Bureau here are using houses owned by various accused in NAB cases, Dawn has learnt.
    Deputy Director Mohsin Haroon, investigation officer in the multi-billion Wapda Employees Cooperative Housing Society (WECHS) scam, is living in such a house.
    The NAB authorities, in their interim reference submitted to the accountability court on June 27, 2016, mentioned 12 properties seized from main accused Saeed Ahmed Khan, former secretary of the WECHS.
    Of the two houses seized in Ahmed Villas, one is being used by Mr Haroon and the other by another deputy director Qaisar Mehmood, who is also in-charge of NAB intelligence wing.
    Saeed Khan had purchased these houses for his daughter Rida Saeed and son Danyal Saeed. To escape the law, he transferred them to Nazia Zia, the sister of another accused Wajid Rasool, stated to be the front man of Mr Khan. Ms Zia, however, denied the ownership of the houses.
    On Jan 27, 2017, former Director General of NAB (Multan) Farooq Nasir Awan ordered to freeze 18 properties seized from the accused of the case. The two Ahmed Villa houses were, however, not included in the list.
    Sources said Allah Dita who was the partner of Mr Rasool signed a number of sale agreements (Satha) with the owners of land in WECHS Phase III. Mr Khan issued files (both commercial and residential) in the name of Mr Rasool against the land which was not transferred to the society. Mr Rasool allegedly earned millions by selling the files.
    During investigation, NAB asked Mr Ditta to clear Rs40 million liability of commercial files issued against his name which he agreed to pay and handed over a cheque of first installment of Rs8 million to the NAB authorities. But soon he had second thoughts and got the payment blocked, asking the NAB Mr Rasool was the real beneficiary and the amount should be recovered from him. NAB then arrested Ditta.
    Though the NAB authorities accepted Voluntary Return (VR) request of Mr Rasool against the files issued against his name, it did not ask him to pay the liabilities against the files which were issued to him by Mr Khan against the sale agreements of Mr Ditta.
    According to section 12 of NAB Ordinance, the NAB chairman or the accountability court trying (an accused) for any offence may order the freezing of the seized property. Deputy director Haroon was not available for comment while his colleague Mr Mehmood said there was nothing illegal in living in a confiscated house.
    NAB’s Multan Director General Atiqur Rehman said that the houses did not belong to the accused.
    “These stand frozen by the court as case properties and now under control of receivers appointed by the court. Anyone can live in there by paying rent to the receiver. No NAB officer is residing in these houses,” he claimed.
    Muhammad Naeem Khan, counsel for Mr Saeed Khan, claimed that the court had not given any order to freeze these two houses.
    He said how could the houses be frozen when they were not included in the list submitted by the NAB in the court for freezing and what was the justification of NAB officers living in those houses?
    He said the NAB chairman or the Multan DG were not authorized to freeze any property when the reference had been submitted to the court. He said only the court had authority to issue such orders.
    He said that over his complaint, the accountability court judge had sent a bailiff to check whether the houses were being used by the NAB officers. He said the bailiff had submitted his report to the court.
    “In fact, both the officers are occupying the houses illegally and committed offence under section 9 of NAB ordinance which states that a holder of a public office commits the offence of corruption and corrupt practices if he misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour,” he added.
    Meanwhile, NAB Additional Director Staff Ahmed Mumtaz Bajwa is living in the official residence of Executive Engineer Buildings Ghulam Abbas Wirk.
    Asked, Virk said that no one had right to raise any objection about the use of his official residence by Mr Bajwa when he (Mr Wirk) had no objection.
    Mr Bajwa who has been using the house for two years said the sitting EXEN and his predecessor (the outgoing XEN) were his class fellows and friends who had asked him to stay in there.Answering a question, Mr Bajwa said three to four NAB officers were living in WECHS.
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    Item Reviewed: NAB officers occupy seized houses- Whether it is not corruption ? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar