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Ashiana Housing Scam: Court extends judicial remand of Ahad Cheema, 5 others

Ashiana Housing Scam: Court extends judicial remand of Ahad Cheema, 5 others

LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended judicial remand of former Director General (DG) Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema and five others for nine more days in Ashiana Housing Scheme case.

The Justice Chaudhry Munir resumed hearing of the case here in Lahore today and directed to present the accused before the court on July 13.

During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) adopted the stance that Ahad Cheema extensively damaged the country s treasury with corruption worth million, adding that 61000 underprivileged citizens submitted their applications.

NAB filed reference consisting of 3,000 pages. The names of other accused including private company owner Shahid Shafiq, Chief Engineer LDA Israr Saeed, Bilal Kidwai, Chief Executive Officer of Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) Imtiaz Haider and former Chief Executive of Pakistan Stone Development Company (PSDC) Arif Majeed Butt are also present in the reference.

Earlier on June 19, prime accused Cheema and Bismillah Construction’s chief executive Shahid Shafiq appeared before the court amid tight security.

National Accountability Court (NAB)—during hearing—adopted the stance Punjab Land Development Company inked the agreement on Jan-20, 2015 with Paragon Housing Society to construct the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Society whereas as much as 16000 underprivileged citizens submitted money worth Rs610 mln. Legal counsel of anti-graft watchdog further went on to say that project had not been completed yet.

Bureau’s lawyer further apprised the court that Ahad Cheema—under capacity of LDA DG—awarded contract worth Rs14 bln to Casa Company [a joint venture of Bismillah Engineering Services, Sparco and China Group].

NAB officials held that it is illegal to award contract over Rs150 mln and that the provincial exchequer suffered loss worth Rs640.50 mln owing to incompetency of the companies.

Accountability Court—after hearing the arguments—extended judicial remands of Cheema and Shafiq till July-4. 

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