IHC stays FIA probe against CDA in Grand Hyatt plot case

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has restrained the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from holding an enquiry against Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials in the allotment of plot to Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The CDA has allotted one of the most expensive plots in the federal capital to the owners of Hayat Regency Hotel near the Convention Centre at offhand rates whereas its actual market value is around Rs 20 billion.

The affected party (hotel owners) approached the Islamabad High Court. In their application, the applicants said that the FIA investigation into the sale was mala fide. On Tuesday, IHC Justice Amir Farooq stopped the FIA from probing the matter.

The Public Accounts Committee had asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate the matter, but NAB could not take it up due to unknown reasons. Subsequently, the FIA started its probe but on the orders of a powerful government personality, the case was transferred to FIA Lahore.

The PAC also instructed CDA to provide passports and national identity card numbers of those to whom the plot had been allotted, but CDA ignored the order and handed over the possession of the plot to the hotel owners. The hotel owners then obtained a loan from a bank by showing ownership of the plot.

Instead of the year’s time mentioned in the contract for making full payment of the plot, CDA gave the allottees three years to clear the payment.

Earlier, auditors raised objection as the plot had been allotted against rules and regulations at a throwaway price.

On the other hand, the Civil Aviation Authority also raised objections that the CDA has allowed the owners to construct a five-storey building which could create problems for air traffic .Moreover some sensitive departments also believed that construction of a huge building near foreign embassies could pose a security risk.

A five-member team of FIA was carrying out the probe under Director Lahore Zone Usman Anwar. Other members are Additional Director Javed Hussain Shah, Assistant Director Muhammad Jamil, AD Javed Sultan and Inspector Nayer Tirmizi.

The team interrogated some CDA officials on Monday. In this regard the record of Planning Wing and State Management of the department was also collected.

 

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