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Malik Riaz, son yet to be arrested in 1,401-kanal land scam, SC told

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday that real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz were yet to be arrested over fake and illegal transfer of 1,401 kanals of land despite being nominated by the Rawalpindi Anti-Corruption Establishment. Appearing on notice, Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab Director General Abid Javed told a three-member Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez that during the investigation, 16 people were found involved in the fake and illegal transfer of land, of which seven had been arrested. To a court query, he said Malik Riaz and his son Ali had not been arrested so far. The court was hearing a bail application filed by one of the arrested accused, Tanveer Hussain. Meanwhile, the court disposed of the case after Raza Pasha, counsel for estate agent Tanveer Hussain told the court that he wished to withdraw his bail application from the Supreme Court and wanted to contest his case in a trial court.

He contended that during the transfer of hundreds of kanals of land to Bahria Town, his client did not get any benefit. The court accepted his request and disposed of the plea as dismissed. To a court query, Pasha told the court that the benefit of fake and illegal transfer of land went to Malik Riaz and his son. Earlier on October 6, the Rawalpindi ACE had submitted in the Supreme Court a re-investigation report on acquisition of hundreds of kanals of land on the outskirts of Rawalpindi through bogus documents. ACE had found the role of four revenue department officials and two senior officials of Bahria Town in the land scam.

Tehsildar Adnan Bashir Kiani, Patwari Muhammad Rizwan, Tanveer Hussain Shah and Muhammad Hussain of the Revenue Department and Colonel (r) Saeed Akhtar and Muhammad Iqbal of Bahria Town have already been arrested by ACE in addition to an estate agent, Tanveer Hussain.
The FIR of the case was registered in November 2009 against officials of the revenue and other departments for preparing fake identity cards and ownership documents of the land, of which 1,235 kanals were transferred in the name of Bahria Town’s site supervisor Muhammad Iqbal, 60 kanals in the name of Malik Riaz and 300 kanals in the name of his son Ali Riaz. The case was registered after the villagers of Saghri in Rawat had approached the ACE against the revenue officials for allegedly depriving them of their land.

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