LAHORE: Punjab anti-corruption department has been granted the permission to record the statement of former premier Nawaz Sharif in Pakpattan darbar ‘illegal’ land allotment case. A letter reads that a three-member team will record Nawaz’s statement on July 30.
Anti-corruption team comprising Assistant Director Investigation Sahiwal Ghazanfar Tufail, Assistant Director Legal Rashid Maqbool and Inspector Zahid Ali will visit Kot Lakhpat jail to investigate Nawaz.
Sources said that Nawaz Sharif, when he was chief minister Punjab in 1985, ordered his secretary for the allotment of Auqaf land after which 14,398 acres of land was allotted illegally.
An FIR (first information report) was lodged by the anti-corruption, which is investigating the officials of revenue and Auqaf departments.
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Earlier, the case was heard in Supreme Court by a three-member bench. Nawaz appeared before the court and pleaded to reject the JIT report on the case.
The JIT headed by Hussain Asghar had recommended criminal proceedings against then Punjab chief minister and others and held Nawaz Sharif responsible for illegal allotment. The report said that the former premier had allotted the lands of Hujra Shah Muqim and Darbar Hafiz Jamal too during the same tenure.
The JIT report said that the Sajjadah Nasheen Qutubuddin had sent an application to the chief minister in which he had requested for the withdrawal of 1969 notification.
JIT submitted its report in SC on January15 after which the apex court sought opinion from the former premier and Punjab government on the issue.
Background of the case
After Partition, Dewan Ghulam Qutab and his family used to be the 'owners' of the shrine’s land as per the revenue record from 1947 to 1958.
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The family sold pieces of the land to different people until Jan 1, 1970, when the Punjab government notified the Auqaf Department as the rightful owner of the land and Dewans the custodian of the shrine. Later Dewans moved the Lahore High Court but the case was decided against them.
In 1986, the government withdrew its 1970 notification and Dewans reciprocated by withdrawing their appeal before the Lahore High Court against the decision.
With this, the Dewans resumed their land selling business and the revenue department issued ownership rights (fard) to all buyers.
In the meantime, a 1981 case regarding 17 marlas land filed in a civil court reached the Supreme Court by 2015.
The apex court chief justice took suo moto of the land deals of the shrine and summoned officials of the revenue and Auqaf departments and the Dewans.
After some hearings, the Supreme Court declared notification of Aug 28, 1986, illegal and nullified all land deals done since then. The decision reportedly affected 100,000 residents of different localities.
The Dewans filed a review petition last year for defence of their right to sell the land with the Supreme Court against its 2015 decision which remained pending since then.
Former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, during his visit to the Baba Farid shrine in 2018, had promised justice in the case when dozens of the affected people raised slogans to get his attention towards their plight.
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