CJP Chaudhry to set-up commission to probe loot sale

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Islamabad, May 15 (ANI): Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is considering to set up a commission to investigate a "loot sale" of public property worth millions at throwaway prices.

"In my 20-year career, I have seen a loot sale of land belonging to the ETPB, railways and the CDA and we are considering constituting a commission to probe why public property worth millions is being sold at throwaway prices just like that," The Dawn quoted CJP Chaudhry, as saying.

CJP Chaudhry is heading a bench, which had taken suo motu notice of the sale of land at a low price by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in Karachi.

The bench had been constituted on a note sent by Justice Jilani stating that public property worth billions was likely to be sold at a very low price. The current price of property in the area was estimated at 50 million rupees per acre.

The court also ordered ETPB Chairman Syed Asif Hashmi not to sell even an inch of the land that constituted national heritage.

Zafar Hussain Faridi, who claims to be the owner of 314 acres of land, alleged that 240 acres of his land had been taken over by the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) and now encroached upon.

Sources told Dawn that the dispute dates back to 1964 when the ETPB had taken over the Pinjaroport Trust land in 1964.

The KDA acquired a portion of the land to develop deh Okay Wari, Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Surjani Town. Since the KDA allegedly failed to pay the cost of the land to the ETPB, its pieces were allotted to different people by the trust.

In the early 1980s, Faridi secured power of attorney of 49 acres from 12 people who are now dead. He later approached a tribunal with a claim on 314 acres.

The Sindh High Court, it ordered the department concerned to grant the challan of survey No.55 and 56 to Faridi at the rate of 300,000 rupees per acre of encroached land and 500,000 rupees for unoccupied land.

ETPB's counsel Iftikhar Javed Qazi said Faridi failed to pay the total amount. He only paid 5.1 million rupees out of the total amount of 115 million rupees. (ANI)

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