ISLAMABAD: Hearing a suo motu case against the allotment of land measuring 54 acres worth billions of rupees in Sector E-11 of the federal capital by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to the Multi-Professional Cooperative Housing Society (MPCHS) on the pretext of its development, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday questioned how the land was allotted to a private housing society which was neither a land developer nor enlisted with the civic body as a land developing firm.

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani noted that the land development deal, prima facie was not transparent. Akram Sheikh, who had been appointed as amicus curiae, said that there is no provision in the CDA Ordinance 1960 to authorise a private party to undertake sectoral development.

“This scandal is far bigger than the case of the F-9 Park, as the amount received by the CDA officers and the developers runs not into billions but in trillions,” he said. The purpose of establishing the CDA was to develop the federal capital. It has staff and can also take help from police or even the rangers to eject encroachers from its land.

The counsel said that KU Farooqi, who is the incumbent president of the MPCHS, was a cabinet secretary when an amendment was made in CDA regulations that development in capital areas be undertaken by the private sector. Farooqi had the clause put in the regulation in July 1992. He said although the regulations were made by the CDA board, but they were approved by the government. Clause 4 was inserted to accommodate the private party in the development of the area.

MPCHS counsel, Zulfiqar Khalid Maluka, informed the court that it took 10 months to develop Sector E-11 and for its development the CDA had issued an appreciation letter to the firm. He said that they had spent Rs 1.8 billion in developing the area as they had constructed culverts, electricity and water pipelines and got the land vacated from land grabbers.