Main accused in Paragon Housing scam shifted to Lahore

Inquiry against the accused revealed he had been absconding to avoid the on-going inquiry against him


Our Correspondent November 16, 2018
PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has shifted the accused director of Paragon Housing Society to Lahore. However, he was not presented before an accountability court for remand. The anti-graft body will produce him later as the transit remand had already been acquired by NAB.

Accused Qaiser Amin Butt Director of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited was arrested by NAB on Wednesday. He was allegedly involved in the commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices in connivance with co-accused Nadeem Zia and others.

Amin, in connivance with Nadeem Zia and others, had launched an illegal housing scheme known as Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd, in 2005 on the basis of forged and fabricated documents along with alleged approvals from TMA Aziz Bhatti Town, Lahore. In 2013, all TMA approved housing schemes were transferred to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA). However, the record of Paragon Housing Scheme was intentionally not shifted to the LDA by the accused persons. Paragon City Housing Society has, so far, not been approved by the LDA. Thus, Amin, being the beneficial owner, was running the said housing scheme, unlawfully.

NAB said the accused, in his capacity as the director of Paragon City, aided, connived, assisted and abetted accused Nadeem Zia and others in the commission of offenses of cheating public at large and misappropriation of funds collected from the general public. He was also involved in the subsequent diversion of funds for setting up new businesses for their personal gains. Moreover, in addition to the above, accused Qaiser Amin Butt, accompanied by others, issued allotment letter of commercial and residential plots to the general public of the land which was not owned by the Paragon Housing Scheme.

The funds collected from the general public were used for the personal benefits of the alleged accused persons instead of providing timely development and possession of plots to the allottees of Paragon City.

Inquiry against the accused revealed he had been absconding to avoid the on-going inquiry against him and it was likely to be feared that the accused may tamper substantial evidence through criminal inducement and intimidation. NAB Lahore officials have arrested Amin for the recovery of embezzlement money, the collection of evidence and to help to conclude the inquiry against him. Qaisar Amin Butt would be produced before an accountability court to acquire his physical remand.

Meanwhile, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Thursday directed the department concerned to issue show cause notice to NAB Lahore Prosecutor Arif Mahmood Rana for negligence in the performance of his duty.

The aforementioned prosecutor, during the hearing of a case in Lahore High Court (LHC), allegedly gave such comments and arguments which ultimately favoured the accused. He did not even consult with NAB Lahore DG and the deputy prosecutor general accountability about his arguments in the court.

In the show-cause notice, the prosecutor will be asked to elaborate the reasons and circumstances of his negligence and favouring the accused so that the issue could be taken to its logical conclusion.

The NAB chairman has directed prosecutors and investigators to pursue cases and to appear before the court with complete documentary support and put forth their arguments with the support of concrete evidence, so that, the culprits could be punished and deposit their looted amount to the national exchequer.

 

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