SC allows DHA to withdraw Rs 50 million from frozen accounts for salaries

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The Supreme Court on Thursday conditionally allowed the Rawalpindi and Islamabad Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to withdraw the amount needed to give salaries to its employees that amounted to Rs 50 million.

A three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, resumed hearing a sou motu case in the n Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) multi-billion scam.

The bench also directed the DHA to submit all relevant record on the next date of hearing with the direction that they would not conceal any aspect from the bench.

The SC directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a progress report on the next date of hearing after carrying investigations in this regard.

During the proceedings, FIA Director (Legal) Azam Khan submitted an assessment of property report compiled by NESPAK after surveying the land purchased by the EOBI.

According to the report, evaluation of the property purchased from the DHA in phase I and II was almost according to the market price.

The report further stated that the EOBI had purchased Crown Plaza Islamabad’s land paying Rs 1.02 billion whereas the actual market price of the property was Rs 602 million.

Similarly, the EOBI purchased land in Karachi’s Maleer at a price of Rs 2.02 billion but the actual worth of the land was Rs 707 million “so the corruption by EOBI officials was in billions”, the report revealed.

Meanwhile, EOBI Chairman Ayub Sheikh also submitted a progress report before the bench and said the maters at the EOBI will be rectified.

DHA’s counsel Irfan Qadir requested the court to open the DHA’s seized accounts so that the department could give salaries to the employees, which the court conditionally allowed.

Tariq Mehmood, counsel for the Eden Housing Authority submitted a draft of Rs 976 million for the dues and requested the bench to give them time until August 18 to clear the rest of Rs 900 million rupees, which was also allowed.

The case was adjourned until August 21.