The city managers have transferred a kiosk in a posh sector park to a relative of a ruling party minister illegally. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials admitted this on Friday before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which was hearing a petition challenging the transfer of the Moon Star kiosk to interior minister’s brother Khalid Malik.
On November 2 last year the court had ordered the civic agency to remove encroachments from Shalimar Park in Sector F-7/3 where Khalid Malik was allegedly running a restaurant falsely listed as being owned by one Zaheer Ahmed.
On Friday, administration member Chaudhry Munir Ahmed and enforcement director Naveedul Haq appeared before the court along with CDA counsel Nazir Jawad.
The counsel admitted before the court that the transfer of the kiosk was done in violation of CDA rules. “There are no rules which allow the transfer of kiosks” he argued.
Meanwhile, Zaheer Ahmed, the purported owner of the kiosk, provided his National Identity Card (NIC) data to the court and informed the bench that he is Khalid Malik’s neighbour.
When Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui asked how the kiosk was transferred if the rules did not allow it, Haq said the then chairman treated it as a special case and allowed the transfer.
Justice Siddiqui asked the CDA officials what action had been taken against the officials responsible, to which Ahmed claimed that the incumbent chairman had formed a special committee to probe the matter and it is still being worked on.
When the officials were unable to satisfy the bench on the progress of the inquiry, the court ordered CDA to submit a report on the issue within two weeks and the hearing was adjourned till February 18.
Meanwhile the court also directed the CDA to submit a complete report on the removal of encroachments in the city. Advocate Jehangir Khan Jadoon, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted a fresh application informing the court that after a month without a hearing, encroachments have once again started to pop up in the city and the CDA has failed to take action against them. He said that despite the restraining orders of the court, 450 kiosks at Faizabad are still functional.
Last year in November, the same bench had suspended the Capital Development Authority’s permission to hand over four acres at Faizabad to an influential individual for the construction of 450 kiosks. The case was adjourned till February 18.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.