KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued on Monday notices to former petroleum adviser Dr Asim Hussain, the officials of Dr Ziauddin Hospital's North Nazimabad branch, Karachi Development Authority's (KDA) director of anti-encroachment and others named as accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an amenity plot encroachment case.
Headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, a two-judge bench directed them to file comments by March 23.
At the outset of the hearing, the NAB investigation officer filed a report in compliance of the court's May 10, 2016, order, when the high court had referred the matter to the national anti-graft watchdog and was directed to submit a comprehensive investigation report within two months.
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In the report, the IO accused Dr Asim and a dozen others accused in alleged illegal commercial use of 5.8 acres of amenity land by the private health facility.
The IO said it had been established during inquiry that offence had been committed in active connivance of Dr Asim and 11 others through an organised conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, depriving the public of a healthy activity and causing losses to the state for their personal illegal gains through China-cutting, money laundering and breach of authority.
Hence, the case is requested to be prosecuted as per law, the report stated.
In the report, Dr Asim, Dr Ziauddin Hospital North Nazimabad's deputy managing-director Syed Muhammad Shariq, ex-administrator Dr Yousuf Sattar, KDA anti-encroachment director, Abdul Qadeer Mangi, North Nazimabad's executive engineer Anwar Farooqui, two ex-executive engineers Ahmed Shah and Khawaja Muhammad Usman and Irtteqa Hussain Zaidi were named.
The report also named the late secretary of the Hockey Association West Mohsin, its honorary secretary, Muhammad Farooq and Ehtisham, the proprietor of two marriage halls and brother-in-law of Muttahida Qaumi Movement's ex-office bearer Waseem Aftab.
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The judges took the NAB report on record and issued a notice to the amicus curiae Faisal Siddiqui, the advocate-general Sindh and 10 accused to file comments by March 23.
The high court had turned the hearing on a petition into a public interest litigation after the petitioner, Rana Faizul Hasan, expired last month. In the petition, the court was pleaded to order demolition of the 'illegal' parking lot, marriage halls and other structures raised on the plot, ST-14, in North Nazimabad's block-B, which was originally allotted to the Hockey Association West for a playground.
During the proceedings, the judges had noted that "It is seen from the record that the plot was allotted by the KDA, now City District Government Karachi or Baldia Uzma Karachi, in 1980".
"It is apparent from the lease deed that the said amenity plot would be used exclusively as a playground by the hockey association," they observed.
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However, the bench noted from the record that the plot was hardly used for the purpose and rather is used on a commercial basis "which is totally against the terms on which the said plot was allotted/leased out to the association".
Expressing their displeasure over the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation's (KMC) performance, the judges had noted that, "This fact was very much in the knowledge of the relevant KMC officials, but no action was taken by them against the hockey association for misusing the plot for some obvious reasons".
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