RAWALPINDI – An accountability court on Monday convicted four persons in a 1401 kanals of land fraud case for not appearing despite repeated notices.

The Accountability Court (AC) Number 4 Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq sentenced four persons including Ashfaq, property dealer, Millad Bibi, Dildar Hussain and Iqbal Hussain to three years imprisonment in absentia. The court, which also declared the four persons as Proclaimed Offenders (POs), also ordered for confiscating their moveable and immoveable properties.

These men are accused of transferring the lands on their names using fake documents by the land grabbers associated with a property tycoon. AC No 4 Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq later deferred the hearing till April 1, 2013 and also set the same date for indicting the other 10 accused in the land fraud case.

These 10 accused are Naib Tehsildar Adnan Bashir Kiyani, Muhammad Hussain and Nazar Hussain Shah, the two Gardawars, Tanveer Akram, Sajid Rehman, Nisar-ul-Haq, Iqbal Hussain Shah, Col (retd) Saeed Akhter and Iftikhar Munshi.

It is pertinent to mention here that after unearthing the land fraud case involving the property tycoon and Bahria Town former Chief Executive Malik Riaz and his son, Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) took suo moto notice and ordered the Anti Corruption Establishment to launch a fresh inquiry into the case. The investigators in their findings in November 2011 recommended judicial action against 16 men including Behria Town former CE Malik Riaz Hussain, his son and their employees and revenue staff.

However, on March 2, 2013 AC Number 4 Judge dropped the corruption reference against Riaz and his son in a 1401 kanals of land fraud case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor approached AC No 4 on 9 February 2013 pleading for dropping fraud and forgery charges against Behria Town former CE Malik Riaz Hussain and his son Ahmed Ali Riaz.

NAB Prosecutor, in the application, requested AC No 4 Judge that the investigators had no evidence against his clients accused of purchasing 1401 kanal land near Rawat in 2008 using forged documents and fake identities with the help of their front men and revenue officials.

The land fraud case made headlines in 2008 when the land was transferred in the name of Behria Town owners who paid Rs85 million later it transpired that the transfers were made using forged documents and fake identities depriving the real owners of their land.

The case of transfer of 1401 kanal land at Malikpur Azizal revenue estate in the name of Malik Riaz and his son had a long legal battle as first the case was investigated by Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Rawalpindi later the case was transferred to the NAB authorities, he added. Therefore, the court was requested to drop the charges against his clients.