Rawalpindi - The Anti-Corruption Establishment Rawalpindi on Tuesday arrested a local landlord from district courts’ premises after he produced a bogus power of attorney in the court.

The landlord, identified as Chaudhry Khalid Akbar of Pindh Ranjha, with the collusion of six officials of the Land Revenue Department Rawalpindi (LRDR) had prepared a counterfeit document to grab 540 kanal of Top City-1, a private housing scheme located near the New Islamabad International Airport.

A special anti-corruption court sent the accused to Adiala Jail on judicial remand, sources said.

On a complaint of Director Land and GM Security Top City-1 Col (retd) Muhammad Salim Awan, the ACE Rawalpindi Region had registered a case against six officials of the LRDR and seven other local landlords for tampering with land ownership documents of Top City-1 housing society against a hefty bribe. Investigators have already arrested Naib Tehsildar Nahim Ullah, Girdawar Qazi Sajjad and Chaudhry Baber in the scam and they were currently in Adiala Jail.

The other accused officials of the LRDR were identified as Tehsildars Suhail Maqbool and Adnan Kiani, Naib Tehsildar Nahim Ullah, Girdawar Qazi Sajjad and two revenue officials Arshad Mehmood and Shahid Hanif whereas Tahir Ayub, Iqbal Ayub, Chaudhry Baber (ringleader of the land grabbing gang), Chaudhry Khalid Akbar, Chaudhry Amjad, Chaudhry Nasir and Chaudhry Amir were also among the other accused.

According to sources, the ACE investigators raided the district courts premises and arrested Chaudhry Khalid for preparing fake documents in the name of Top City-1 management.

Soon after the arrest, the ACE investigators produced the accused before Anti-Corruption Court Special Judge Pervaiz Ismail Joya and sought his physical remand. The judge, however, rejected the ACE investigators’ plea and sent the accused to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the accused counsel has moved an application to the court for his bail and the judge would take up the case today (Wednesday).

The sources claimed the ACE investigators were interrogating the matter and would arrest the rest of the accused in coming days. “Yes, we have arrested Chaudhry Khalid on charges of preparing a bogus power of attorney with a stamp and a fake signature of revenue official Tahir Ayub dated 18/5/2016. The accused had produced the attorney before a court making the Punjab Land Revenue Department as respondent and had sought review of land transfer order number 3444 of the Top City-1,” said an investigator while talking to The Nation requesting anonymity.

He said that the accused had also committed another crime by moving an application with the accountability court Saddar to review the Intiqal (transfer) number 3444 of the land.

“Upon summoning, Tahir Ayub told ACE investigators that he makes his signature in English while the signature on the power of attorney the accused (Khalid) was having was in Urdu,” the investigator said. He said that further investigation was underway and the remaining accused would also be arrested soon.

According to the FIR registered with the ACE, “Col (retd) Salim Awan stated he approached the land revenue officer to obtain “Fard” of the land of Top City-1 who revealed that seven local landlords with alleged nexus of Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars and Patwaris had managed to tamper with the land record document owned by the Top City-1. The officials of LRDR had removed the total land measuring 608 kanal and 14 marlas mentioned in the documents and showed only 68 kanal and 14 marals in the record in the name of Top City-1. This was done by land revenue officers against a hefty bribe.”

The complainant had also produced a bank challan of the fee he deposited with National Bank of Pakistan for transferring 608 kanal and 14 marals in the name of the Top City-1. The complainant had alleged that all the fraud was done to help the land grabbers to occupy the precious land of the housing scheme. He had requested the ACE to register a case against the persons involved in the fraud with a request to arrest them. The ACE has so far arrested four accused including three officials of the land revenue department.