ISLAMABAD: The Evacuee Trust Property Board fails to safeguard the interests of minorities.
According to details, the Supreme Court of Pakistan was apprized that the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) was disastrous to uphold the interests of minorities and spent in a real estate business of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore and faced a loss of 1.9 billion Rupees.
A three-member bench of the Apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard a complaint of Sardar Mastan Singh President of the Pakistan Sikh Council. The bench remarked that,” It was a constitutional obligation to watch the interests of the minorities.”
The Federal Investigation Agency FIA told the Apex Court that;” all the transactions and deals between the ETPB and the DHA were entered upon during the tenure of ETPB Chairman Asif Hashmi.”
An inquiry report thereupon, submitted by Additional Director General Legal Haji Muhammad Azam Khan drew out the conclusion that initially the ETBP owned 1,152 kanals and 15 marlas of land in Lidher Village, 2,862 kanals in Motasinghwala and 244 kanals and 15 marlas at Dera Chahal in Tehsil Lahore Cantt. The total ETBP land situated at Mouza Lidhar and Motasinghwala transferred to the DHA Lahore comes out to 843 kanals and 15 marlas against 25 percent exemption plots files.
The Ministry of Minorities approved an uncertain ETPB board decree on 28th of April, 2009 for the acquirement of ETBP lands by the DHA Lahore Cantt against 25 percent discharge plot files without bearing in mind an earlier offer by DHA extended on July 20, 2007 to acquire lands against 33 percent exemption plot files. The FIA report also suggested that the DHA paid compensation of ETPB lands at Mauza Lidher and Motasinghwala to unauthorised persons to the tune of 657 million Rupees ( 126 million Rupees in cash and 59 plots of one kanal each) without justification when the beneficiaries do not exist in the list of legitimate lessees of ETBP.
“Therefore, distinct possibility could not be ruled out of having receipt commission/kickbacks by DHA and ETPB and ministry officials concerned through these beneficiaries,” the FIA report assumed.