NPF scam: SC commission to find way to recover money

Differences between allotment and market prices to be basis of calculations for recovery from unentitled allottees


Hasnaat Malik July 04, 2015
In its judgment on the Rs6 billion NPF land scam, the Supreme Court has constituted a commission. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:


Those who ‘got rich quick’ in the National Police Foundation (NPF) scam might be losing much of those questionable earnings, and a little bit more.


In its judgment on the Rs6 billion NPF land scam, the Supreme Court has constituted a commission, headed by former Lahore High Court judge Maulvi Anwarul Haq, to determine the cases of subsequent purchasers of plots from the original allottees and how market price of plots could be used to determine and recover monies from the original allottees based on the difference between the allotment price and the market price.

“The Commission shall submit its report…within a period of two months after the date of formation,” says the verdict.

Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry authored the 30-page judgment and observed that the review petition, filed by former PML-N MNA Anjum Aqeel Khan, persons who were allotted more than one plot, and also applicants who were allotted one plot without any entitlement, stand dismissed.

The judgment did observed that bona fide buyers have a strong case, therefore, their review petitions  filed by the bona fide purchasers and subsequent allottees, as do entitled persons who were allotted only one plot, such as police officers.

“The commission shall also consider the cases of persons who… have been allotted only one plot as to whether they had paid the market price or not, and if not, what will the market price be and what will be the mode of recovery.”

Fees and other allowances of the commission shall be determined by the NPF after discussions with the commission head. The NPF has been directed to provide full assistance and facilities to the commission in the shape of provision of office space, staff and conveyance, and all relevant records must be made available to the commission.

The court noted that only influential persons have benefitted from schemes launched by the NPF, while poor police officials have been deprived of their right.

The judgment notes that there are three categories of persons in this case — persons who were allotted only one plot, persons allotted more than one plot either in their names or in the names of their family members, and persons who purchased plots from the original allottees.

The court has cancelled plot allotments in the second category, while allowing the persons to “pay market price of the plots, which shall be determined by the commission,” if they want to keep their plots.

Although the court has allowed police officers and employees of the foundation who have been allotted only one plot to keep those plots, it  observed that it “found several illegalities in the process of allotment of plots, but in the interest of justice, we are not going to cancel their allotment. There is some justification for allotment of plots to them.”

The judgment further notes that as civilians, bureaucrats, army personnel and others were not at all entitled to plots, their allotments are cancelled, with the same ‘exit clause — pay market price and keep the plot. This also applies to persons that transferred the plots within their own families.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.

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