Architect accuses tourism chief of harassment, extortion

TDCP has yet to pay the petitioner Rs6m outstanding dues.


Express August 05, 2011

LAHORE:


Lahore High Court Chief justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Thursday restrained the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) and the police from harassing a Lahore-based architect who had been contracted to build a park in front of the chief minister’s house in Murree.


The CJ also directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by August 9 of the two bogus FIRs lodged by the TDCP against the architect. The court summoned the TDCP chairman to appear in court personally at the next hearing with a detailed report on the matter.

CJ Chaudhry passed the order on a petition filed by Azam Saeed, an architect, against the TDCP chairman and managing directors for registering false cases against him and not paying him Rs6 million due to him under a contract between the two parties.

Saeed said that he was given the contract in July 2009 to develop PIA Park at Kashmir Point in Murree. He said he had started construction work on the park together with Engineer Kamran Gul. Some TDCP officials, claiming to be from the CM’s House, started harassing him. He said they demanded a share in the profit and also asked him to employ their men as sub contractors.

When he refused, he said, they pressured the TDCP to stop his payment. A cheque that was already issued by the department also bounced, he said.

He said that his contract was unlawfully cancelled by the TDCP on May 3, 2010, without paying him the Rs6 million outstanding amount and an additional Rs1.8 million which he had deposited as security with the department.

He said the TDCP officials registered a false theft case against him and engineer Gul alleging that the two stole Rs1.08 million from the park’s material.

On July 6, 2011, a Rawalpindi court granted them bail but they were re-arrested on the same day under a new FIR registered by the TDCP in Taxila police station. He said his mother, who resides in Defence Housing Authority, Lahore, had also been threatened by some men from the department.

He said he had been working as an architect on government projects, private business and town planning for 15 years and had never committed any irregularity in his work.



Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.

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