Forged NOC? Court shows Imran way out of conundrum

PTI chief rejects suggestion that permission for his Bani Gala mansion was forged


Shahzad Anwar March 07, 2018
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The PTI chief has rejected suggestions that he had forced documentations for building his palatial residence in the capital.

As a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard a suo moto notice regarding illegal developments in the Bani Gala area of the capital on Tuesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s counsel refuted allegations that a no-objection certificate obtained from the Union Council was forged.

Imran’s counsel Babar Awan told the court on Tuesday that he would prove that the forgery had instead been committed by the government rather than his client.

Forged documents? No NOC issued for Imran’s Bani Gala mansion, SC told

He presented a copy of the NOC before the bench and said that it was bearing the signatures of former the Bhara Kahu union council chairman. He contended that either the official was lying or he did not issue or sign the document.

At this Justice Atta Bandial remarked, “Why are you getting emotional, go and pay the amount [due] to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for regularising your building.”

Subsequently, the apex court directed the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and the CDA to devise a workable plan to regularise upscale irregular constructions in Bani Gala including Imran’s residence which sprawls over 300-kanals of land.

The court further told Awan that Imran will eventually have to regularise his estate in line with their orders to the CDA for regularising all properties in Bani Gala.

SC directs PTI chief to submit reply in 'forged' NOC case

“There will be one law governing your or anyone else’s property in the area,” Justice Nisar remarked, adding that court will take up the matter on March 13.

Bani Gala is considered to be a catchment area of the Rawal Lake. In 1980, the federal government had issued a notification declaring that all land falling within a two-kilometre radius from the highest watermark of Rawal Lake to be protected.

Chief Justice Nisar also asked CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry of their plan to lay a sewerage system in Bani Gala.

“What did you do to regularise Islamabad’s rural areas,” CJ asked as Dr Chaudhry urged the court to lift a ban on providing gas and utility connections in the rural areas of the capital.

“We spend precious gas resources worth billions of rupees only for cooking,“ Justice Nisar remarked.   

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2018.

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