LAHORE - NAB authorities will keep the prime suspect of DHA City scam in custody for 12 more days.

Hammad Arshad, CEO of Globaco, collected 16 billion rupees from more than 13,000 people for plots in the proposed DHA City in Lahore cantonment, an accountability court was told yesterday.

While the bureau was allowed physical remand for further investigation, the suspect requested for home-cooked fresh meals and books during his detention.

His demand was accepted before being remanded into the custody.

Arshad was arrested on Jan 07 after NAB authorities, in a due period of time, received around 13,000 complaints of receiving fake allotments against billions of rupees.

As the proceedings concluded on Thursday, a number of complainants held demonstration outside the court against the housing authority. “It is not 16 billion rupees scam, it is Rs30b,” said an affected man who was chanting slogan against the suspect and DHA authorities.

They also demanded of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the land scam.

Arshad’s company, Globaco Private Limited had secured a contract from Defence Housing Authority in 2009 to acquire 25,000 kanals land to build DHA City. However, the company failed to acquire the agreed land but still issued thousands of allotment letters and gathered around Rs15.47 billion.

Kamran Kiyani, the brother of former army chief Gen (r) Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, has also been issued notices for his alleged role as a facilitator and beneficiary in the scam.

Ombudsman’s defiance irks LHC: Federal law secretary and SSP Islamabad have been summoned for January 20, after federal ombudsman for women’s protection failed to appear in Lahore High Court yesterday on contempt charges.

Yasmeen Abbasi, Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment, was due in the court yesterday to explain why she failed to halt her investigation into the alleged harassment of a woman.

Abbasi failed to appear on three occasions and claimed the court does not have the authority to summon her. Her stance not only infuriated the judge but raised a serious constitutional question over whether the Ombudsman was accountable in law?

Registrar/consultant of the ombudsperson secretariat appeared before the court on Thursday and said the ombudsperson did not provide him record case challenged before the court.

According to legal experts Abbasi could face arrest and jail if found guilty of contempt.

The conflict began in November last year, after the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Yasmeen Abbasi was investigating a complaint by a woman against a fellow employee. The alleged victim, however, decided she would prefer her complaint to be dealt with as a criminal matter and successfully petitioned the LHC to order a legal inquiry.

A lawyer Saleem Javed had filed the contempt petition against the ombudsman for violating stay order.

Lahore High Court Bar Association President Pir Masood Chishti said the Ombudsman’s refusal amounted to an ‘attack on the judiciary.’