islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has taken exception to the recent arrests of its officials by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), The Nation has learnt reliably.

The FIA arrested the CDA officials for their failure to check mushroom growth of illegal slums during the past several years in the city.

Sources in the CDA told this correspondent that chairman CDA has recently written a letter to Director FIA Islamabad Zone, Inam Ghani to invite his attention towards the issue of requisitioning of record and information pertaining to the posting of officers/officials and ‘its interpretation’ as the Agency is conducting an inquiry into who was responsible for mushroom growth of illegal settlements and katchi abadis in the capital limits during the last many years.

Some months back, the FIA had booked over 40 CDA officials in this connection out of them many were sent to the jail while 15 have recently been declared proclaimed offenders as they did not appear before the investigation officer.

Citing example of what CDA high-ups viewed as misuse of authority and lack of probe by the FIA, the CDA sources said that CDA Assistant Director Abdul Jabbar remained posted in the Enforcement Directorate for just 20 days out of which he availed 8 days leave but he served 35 days in jail over the same charges.

They said it was all due to the FIA’s own interpretation of the CDA officers’ lists containing posting of the officials in the directorates responsible for checking growth of illegal katchi abadis during the last many years which were requisitioned by the FIA.

The letter titled ‘Inquiries against CDA officials’ states that the FIA was itself interpreting the requisitioned information pertaining to the posting of CDA officials on the posts responsible for checking illegal settlements in the city. “It may please be clarified to all concerned dealing with the CDA cases that the lists provided by the CDA (posting record of CDA officers/officials to fix responsibility in illegal katchi abadis case) are only identifying the incumbency status and posting profiles as are being requisitioned by your agency and are in no way indicating names of responsible officers/officials. In case, it is required to fix responsibility, the CDA may be given sufficient time to inquire and communicate the names of responsible officials,” reads the letter addressed to the FIA director, a copy of which is available with The Nation.

The letter further stated that the recent arrests of CDA officials in connection with illegal katchi abadis, without conducting the departmental inquiry and preliminary probe by FIA, have severely affected the working and morale of CDA officers. The chairman CDA has requested the FIA authorities that concerned staff be issued instructions to interpret these lists accordingly.

Sources in the CDA told The Nation that the chairman CDA has now constituted a five-member committee, including two CDA board members and three DGs, to review the posting record and fix responsibility before forwarding the cases to the FIA.

However, according to the CDA sources, despite CDA’s reservations, the FIA continues requisitioning record/information under section 94 of CrPC in connection with its ‘drive against officers of CDA and other departments allegedly responsible for illegal occupation and possession in ICT’ (enquiry no V-287/2015 FIA ACC Islamabad).

Deputy Director Anti-corruption Circle FIA, Abdul Jalil Khan wrote a letter to director staff to chairman CDA on December 22, 2015 to state that an inquiry is undergoing with this circle on the subject issue and requisitioned list of concerned officers/officials of environment, security and vigilance, enforcement, land and estate management, water supply and sewerage directorates of CDA, who have been responsible for dispossession of katchi abadies of Dhobi Ghaat, G-6/2, and green belt, H-12, I-11 (behind NUST Islamabad) since 2010 till date, for further proceedings of the enquiry.

The FIA’s letter also sought record showing efforts made by the CDA officials for dispossessing and stoppage of occupation of land from illegal occupants.