AJK SC reprimands MDA for defying orders on plots’ allotment

AJK SC reprimands MDA for defying orders on plots' allotment
MIRPUR (AJK):  Sep 13 (APP):The Supreme Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir here on Wednesday took stringent notice of the non-compliance of its earlier orders about the due proceeding by the authorities against the allotment of plots by Mirpur Development Authority (MDA) on the places of public utilization in certain of its housing sectors defying the categorical orders of the apex court to this direction.
The two-member division bench of the learned apex court comprising Chief Justice Justice Raja Saeed Akram Khan and Justice Khawaja Muhammad Naseem, in its detailed order directed the Chief Secretary of Azad Jammu Kashmir government to ensure an immediate thorough inquiry into the unlawful exercise through reconstituting an inquiry committee, by consulting with the Prime Minister of AJK and submit a report in this regard before the learned apex Court within a period of fortnight outlining the proposed composition of the committee and expected timeline for completion of the inquiry into the alleged unlawful exercise on the part of the MDA.
In its detailed order, the learned 2-member division bench of the Supreme Court of Azad Jammu Kashmir said:- The case was scheduled for a hearing by the full Court, but it came to our attention that a stay order from this Court has disrupted the daily affairs of the Mirpur Development Authority (MDA), and there are also salary issues for its employees. To clarify the matter, the case has been taken up by the available bench.
The sitting Director General, MDA Engr. Tanveer Qureshi appeared before the Court and was asked about the specific order causing these problems. He confirmed there was no such order, and we want to clarify that we did not issue any restraining order.
In response to an earlier order of the apex court, the D.G., MDA  submitted a detailed sector-wise report.
The learned apex court highly appreciated the laborious job done by him. “We had previously directed to provide names of officials who approved building plans on public land and those who allocated these plots so that appropriate action could be taken.
It has come to our attention that numerous irregularities occurred during the tenure of the former Director General of MDA and the Town Planner. Both individuals were also present in the Court during the proceeding on Wednesday. Although, the D.G. denied that no such allotment was made in his tenure.
However, it appears that the Town Planner has approved the site plans” the court order said continuing “At this preliminary stage, we are issuing a notice to them to explain how these plots were created/allotted contrary to our judgment. They are also directed to submit their personal bonds of Rs.50,00,000/- (each) within a period of one week. In this regard, the office shall maintain a separate file.
The Director General MDA Engr. Tanveer Qureshi informed the Court that a high-level committee was formed to investigate the illegal allotments, of which the Chief Secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir was also a member. Unfortunately, the committee couldn’t complete its report due to a change in the Government.
He further apprised the Court that the Committee started the investigation by requisitioning the record of allotments but despite lapse of considerable time the same has not been returned which is causing difficulties for the department”.
The learned apex court ordered that to ensure a thorough inquiry, the Chief Secretary of AJK is directed to take immediate steps and convene a meeting with the worthy Prime Minister for reconstitution of the committee.
A report in this regard shall be submitted before the Court within a  period of a fortnight outlining the proposed composition of the committee and the expected timeline for completion of the inquiry.
“The Chief Secretary may associate with the D.G. MDA if necessary. A copy of the report submitted today (Wednesday, September 13, 2023) by the D.G. MDA shall also be sent to the Chief Secretary”, the learned court order said.
The learned Supreme Court of AJK while taking strong notice of the unlawful activities of certain employees of the Mirpur Development Authority based on vested interests by indulging in the real estate business the learned apex court said in its order “ We are also aware that some MDA employees are involved in the sale and purchase of plots, using their influence to allot the plots, and then purchasing them through power of attorney.
These employees who own more than one allotted plot need to explain the source of their income and whether these plots have been reported in their income tax returns. This is a serious matter, and the D.G. MDA is directed to immediately halt till further orders all such transactions by MDA employees, except those that are within their entitlement. Additionally, this matter will also be investigated by the committee to be reconstituted in furtherance of directions contained in the preceding paragraph’, the order said.
“Mr Muhammad Zubair Raja, Advocate, pointed out that the Court orders dated 15.06.2023 and 23.01.2023 have not been implemented. The office is instructed to send copies of these orders to the Deputy Commissioner concerned to submit a report explaining the delay in compliance”, the apex court said in its order.
Ch. Shakeel Zaman, Additional Advocate General, Director General, MDA Tanveer Qureshi in person along with former Director General Imran Khalid Chaudhry and Town Planner, MDA. Muhammad Suleman, Zulfiqar Ahmed Raja, Muhammad Nadeem Khan, Syed Nishat Kazmi, Mr Muhammad Jamil Chaudhary and  Muhammad Zubair Raja, Advocates appeared for the applicants.
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