Ex-collector consolidation found involved in fraud worth billions of rupees

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–Public land transferred to private individuals on basis of fake civil court order suit

LAHORE: A fraud worth billions of rupees by former collector consolidation Naveed Alam of the Board of Revenue has been unearthed by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), under which the accused transferred precious land of the provincial government to private individuals with the collusion of other officers concerned, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to a fact-finding report prepared by ACE Lahore, a land stretched at 92 kanals and 12 marlas in the Haloki area of Lahore district, was owned by Talib Hussain, who had rented it out to Irshad and others. It was later transferred to the National Investment Fund Company (NIFC) – now Punjab Cooperatives Board for Liquidation (PCBL) – vide sale deed bearing number 9618.

“The then collector consolidation, Naveed Alam, on May 2, 2014, on the basis of a fake civil court order suit titled ‘Muhammad Boota vs National Industrial Corporation’ passed an erroneous, preserve and capricious order by which the land transferred to PCBL was returned to private individuals subsequently a mutation, bearing number 6173 dated May 5, 2014, was incorporated, verified and sanctioned in a day on the basis of above delineated collector orders,” the report stated.

“Naveed Alam passed an order on the basis of a fake degree whereby the public land was transferred to private individuals. No high court directions were given to Naveed Alam but he muffled with nefarious designs and made a speaking order on the pretext that he had been directed by a high court to pass such orders wherein he directed the field staff to change the ownership from a government entity [PCBL] to the names of private individuals.”

The report further said that Naveed Alam bypassed his jurisdiction by doing so and never asked PCBL to explain its case. “He passed the orders on the basis of fake civil court orders whereas the fake degree was prepared with the active involvement of revenue field staff who became beneficiary to grab the precious provincial government land.”

An enquiry was conducted by a civil judge on the directions of a district and sessions judge wherein it was found that no civil suit titled “Muhammad Boota vs National Industrial Corporation” was ever filed in the court and no decree dated 3.3.1996 was passed whereas the learned ACE special judge has also declared the civil court degree as fake, it said.

According to the report, Azam, a patwari who had entered a mutation, bearing number 6173 dated May 8, 2014, was sanctioned on the basis of a fictitious registry bearing no 7861 dated 2004 which was prepared by revenue field staff.

“The investigation revealed that Muhammad Boota, in a consequence of his sale deed no 1010, got the mutation sanctioned whereas nothing in revenue records showed that “fard arazi” was issued for execution of the sale deed in the favour of Muhammad Maalik by Muhammad Boota.”

It was further revealed that the stamp paper for execution of sale deed in favour of Muhammad Maalik had not been purchased from Treasury and was fake besides the stamp paper used for the deed’s registration.

The report added that the payment was also made through invalid cheques. “As per the version of Muhammad Maalik, he had purchased the land on 9.7.2004 whereas the cheques for payment of sale were alleged to be issued on 27.2.2015 and 7.3.2015, therefore, those cannot be considered as a valid consideration of the land in question.”

ACE Lahore Region Deputy Director Shahrukh Khan Niazi, while speaking to Pakistan Today, said that they were investigating the matter and the then revenue officer, Shams Zaman, who is now the Lahore district collector consolidation, had been arrested.

“A judicial action has been taken against Naveed Alam, who is now Burewala additional deputy commissioner general (ADCG) while the patwari and qanoogoh concerned have been declared as wanted by the police,” he said.

“ACE is determined to recover the government land and has expanded the case from 92 kanals to 1,000 kanals as the facts in hand show the scam is much bigger,” Shahrukh said, adding that the cost of 92 kanals of lands was almost Rs920 million whereas, with further in-depth inquiries, the case would lead to the unearthing of embezzlement worth billions.