LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Thursday summoned Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq to explain his position whether he had any role in Paragon City and under-construction Twin Towers in Islamabad.

Heading a three-member bench hearing several suo motu notices at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry, the top judge also summoned National Accountability Bureau’s investigation officer holding the inquiry into the alleged scam of LDA City. Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were the other members of the bench.

Lahore Development Authority Director General Zahid Akhtar Zaman submitted a detailed report before the bench about the LDA City project. He also presented a report on the rules which allowed LDA to sign an agreement with private companies to acquire land for the said project.

The DG also informed the bench about the six companies – Urban Developers, Millennium Land Developers, Paragon City, Pak Estate, Alfa Estate and Maymar Housing Service. He said the six companies were engaged by the authority for the project and briefed the bench about their owners and shareholders.

CJP Saqib Nisar said he was astonished to know that the name of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq was also in the record of the Lahore Development Authority in connection with its project. “There is a common impression among the public that PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafiq owns the housing society,” the CJP observed. The chief justice directed Saad Rafiq to appear in person to explain whether the impression was correct or not.

Brig (r) Majeed Riaz appeared before the court to represent the owners of Paragon City. The CJP remarked they had summoned owners and not the employees in the case.

The bench asked him to explain as to why LDA City project was prepared and who was given the contract of Urban Development Company. He said the owner, Tahir Javed, was given the contract of the project.

NAB officials last week raided the office of Paragon Society and took important record and files into their custody in connection with the ongoing probe into the alleged scam of Ashiana Housing Scheme.

It may be mentioned here that former LDA DG Ahad Khan Cheema and Shahid Shafiq Alam Faridi are into the NAB custody in the Ashiana Housing scheme scam.

Spurious medicines

The Supreme Court Thursday ordered the Punjab inspector general of police to hold an inquiry against Bahawalpur Regional Police Officer Raja Riffat for allegedly supporting his relative involved in the business of spurious medicines.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar passed the order during the hearing of a matter, challenging pharmaceutical company, M/S Everest, allegedly involved in spurious medicine business.

Earlier, a team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), following the court’s order, sealed the company and took its owner Muhammad Usman into custody. Muhammad Usman happened to be brother in-law of RPO Riffat.

The CJP observed a number of FIRs were registered against the officials of the DRAP and NAB also issued summons to them soon after the action taken against the pharmaceutical company. Even the federal health secretary also admitted before the court that the state had totally failed to act against the said company.

“Who is pressurising the state institutions?” the CJP asked IGP Arif Nawaz. The top judge also referred to the judges of the superior courts and said, “We remain disconnected even from our own families, so how a public servant could obstruct the process of law.”

The IGP told the court that the officer was not involved in harassing any other department or authority, adding an inquiry would be conducted into the allegations against him.

The bench did not issue any order for the suspension of RPO Riffat, letting the IGP decide whether an officer under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court should be allowed to work. The bench directed the IGP to hold an inquiry into the allegations against the officer and submit his report on March 12.