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Housing scheme scandals: NAB helps investors get plots, refund

HYDERABAD, Jan 17: Builders are warned against delay in handing over projects to allottees or making alterations in building specification.

Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice ® Syed Deedar Husain Shah said that any negligence in this regard would be liable to prosecution under the law.

NAB Sindh chapter on Monday arranged a ceremony to return money to those people who had booked their plots in two housing schemes – Gulshan-i-Hassan and Lal Shahbaz – and cleared their dues but were denied possession.

It’s quite distressing for people when projects are delayed and they find no solution to their problems, said NAB Chairman. From now onwards no builder would be allowed to play with the money of people and defaulters would face the law of NAB, he said and advised the builders to handover flats/plots to those who had booked these in their projects or schemes as any deviation would not bode well for them.

It was because of NAB’s efforts that people have started receiving plots and getting back their money, he said with the hope that the officers responsible for this task would continue their work with the same zeal and zest.

Director Investigation, NAB, Sindh, Major ® Shabbir Ahmed said that the Sehwan Development Authority had launched a joint venture project, Lal Shahbaz Housing Scheme, in July 1998 after the approval of the then director-general of the SDA. The project consisted of 1,483 plots of different categories and was aimed at providing houses to middle class population.

Furthermore, it came to notice that the developer even charged extra for west open, road facing and corner plots. However, the accused entered into plea bargain under section 25 of the NAB Ordinance 1999 and deposited around Rs17 million to be returned to the allotees.

The NAB authorities were said to have distributed some 815 bank drafts among the affectees and another 180 were being distributed today, he said.

Gulshan-i-Hassan housing scheme was launched by the so-called builder on the Super Highway in Jamshoro in 1992, with 80 plots of different sizes, he said adding that some 200 people invested in the scheme but neither they were given plots nor was their money refunded.

The NAB authorities filed a reference against the builder after receiving complaints from people and conducting a thorough inquiry and getting approval from the competent authority, he said.

The arrest and formal prosecution of builder in the Sindh High Court resulted in his willingness to hand over the possession of plots to owners. It is pertinent to note that the court had passed an order for handing over plots to first 80 allottees after due verification by the SDA and NAB.

Director-General, NAB, Sindh, Ali Nawaz Pirzada said that the Bureau would not compromise while delivering justice to people.

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