Corruption in transfer of land challenged in Sindh High Court

Petitioner says officials in KMC, KDA, DHA, others demand hefty bribes


Our Correspondent February 28, 2017
PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought comments on Tuesday from the federal and provincial authorities on a petition seeking an end to malpractices and corruption in transfer and mutation of lands.

A division bench, headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar, was hearing the petition filed by Muhammad Yakub Kapadia seeking court directives for the relevant authorities to restructure the departments dealing with the maintenance of public and private properties in a bid to an end the culture of corruption.

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The petitioner named the commissioners of the six districts of the city, land utilisation committee’s head, Board of Revenue, federal finance secretary, chairman Federal Board of Revenue, ministry of housing and works, Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) as respondents.

The bench issued notices to the deputy attorney-general, Sindh advocate-general and the respondents directing them to submit their respective replies on the date to be announced later by the court.

Kapadia submitted that deputy commissioners of the six districts of Karachi were appointed under the provisions of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 and were administratively responsible for maintaining the property coming within the jurisdiction of KMC.

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“However, they had no any jurisdiction to meddle in the property matters falling in the jurisdiction of KDA, DHA, ministry of housing and works, Pakistan Railways, and Sindh Industrial Trading State,” he maintained.

He added that despite that the DCs had issued notices to the registrar of the properties not falling under their jurisdiction to obtain a no objection certification for registration or transfer of the title of the property.

Kapadia alleged that they demand kickbacks for issuance of NOCs and quote the provisions of Registration Act, 1908 making it mandatory to obtain NOC for registration and transfer of properties.

He told the judges that the relevant authorities demand hefty amount for transfer or mutation of properties.

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When a property is sold an advertisement is placed inviting objections and afterwards a DC issues a notice to the registrar restraining the sale of property without assigning any plausible reason and if kickback is given all objections are removed, he added.

“Unless the system is not altered and more sophisticated introduced, these malpractices will continue unchecked,” the petitioner maintained.

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