ISLAMABAD-Capital Development Authority in a half-hearted move partially sealed the Safa Gold Mall at late night on Saturday, leaving a sense of fear of loss of heavy investments among rest of the traders.

Officials of Building Control Section, Estate Management and enforcement directorates of the CDA took part in the operation while the magisterial cover was provided by the ICT administration.

According to sources, basement of the shopping mall, offices of the management and food courts were sealed by CDA after which the operation was suspended following a resistance from the management of the shopping mall.

The CDA had auctioned plot No 5 at Jinnah Super Market in 2010 where its health department was once located. But in a questionable move, the civic agency converted the facility into a commercial plot.

Later, the plot owner, in connivance with the CDA officials, constructed 3 unauthorised storeys on the plot.

First, the CDA allowed him to construct additional storeys but later withdrew the permission. NAB also investigated the case and several officials of the CDA faced jail and trial in the scam.

Recently, while hearing a case, the Supreme Court observed that if Safa Gold Mall was constructed on a hospital plot, the plot should be retrieved, directing the chairman CDA to take action in this regard.

“The question of construction of Safa Gold Mall also came into consideration where it was admitted by the acting chairman CDA that this plot was meant for construction of hospital on which the shopping mall has been constructed and he will insure that the land which has been wrongly used is restored for the purpose it was meant for”, the relevant part of the judgment reads.

However, the city mangers before going for sealing operation also contacted NAB and sought a go ahead as the investigating agency is probing the case, which was granted accordingly.

NAB has suggested the civic body to comply with the court orders in letter and spirit, without any delay.

When contacted, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said that after receiving the go-ahead from NAB, the civic agency was free to take action against the mall and we have initiated the process according to the rules and regulations.

On the other side, the owner of the mall, Rana Abdul Qayyum, considered the sealing operation of CDA as totally unjustified and said: “My review petition has been admitted by Supreme Court against earlier observations passed by the honourable judges in a case which was not about Safa Gold Mall.”

“If the plot was for hospital, then why they (CDA) sold it by publishing advertisement in national and international newspapers”, he complained, adding: “The chairman CDA had misrepresented the facts in Supreme Court in the absence of aggrieved party and it is our right to go for the review.”

Meanwhile, the investors, who purchased or take the shops in the shopping mall on rent criticised the CDA for the sealing operation and questioned if the mall was illegal, then why it was allowed to be built and why all taxes were being collected by Directorate of Municipal Administration and Federal Board of Revenue.