Interference in proceedings: Court issues contempt notice to CDA boss, again

Farkhand Iqbal had allegedly tried to force a witness not to provide facts to the court.

Obaid Abbasi July 28, 2012


Judicial proceedings against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) took an unexpected turn on Friday when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a contempt notice to the civic agency’s chairman for attempting to influence a witness.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the notice after Mansoor Ahmed Khan, a deputy director in the CDA’s municipal administration directorate, told the court that Chairman Farkhand Iqbal had been threatening him via text message to refrain from providing the court with facts that may incriminate the civic agency’s chief.

The court was hearing arguments on three identical petitions filed by ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s Senator Babar Awan, Islamabad Bar Association’s former president Niazullah Niazi, and Barrister Zafarullah Khan against allotments of lands and illegal appointments.

The deputy director showed a text message to the judge which he had received from CDA chairman, upon which the court issued a contempt notice to the later.

In his order, the judge said, “the text message from the CDA chairman is highly uncalled for and tantamount to interference in judicial proceedings, for which he [CDA chairman] is also liable to face contempt case”.

The civic agency official also disclosed that the CDA has recruited two women as event managers on lucrative packages while other questionable appointments had also been made.

He said he cancelled allotments of plots worth billions of rupees before appearing in court on Friday.

Meanwhile, the court rejected a report submitted by the CDA regarding appointments and allotments of all plots, sites, shops, and kiosks and directed Iqbal to submit a fresh report by September 10.

Earlier on July 20, the court had directed Iqbal to furnish complete records of appointments and projects launched during his tenure.

The CDA’s counsel, Advocate Ramzan Chaudhry, submitted the report to the court which said 500 people had been appointed from December 29, 2011 onwards. However, Justice Siddiqui rejected the report, saying he was not satisfied.

He remarked that CDA officials had appointed their sons and relatives in different directorates and “destroyed the civic body”.

Moreover, the court charge-sheeted certain CDA officials including Khan, CDA Planning Director General Ghulam Sarwar Sindhu, Coordination Director Riaz Randhawa and Administration Director Hussain Raza Zaidi for meeting with Faisal Sakhi Butt despite the court’s restraining order.

The court has appointed Rehanuddin Khan as the prosecutor, who will submit his report on September 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.