NAB Directs CDA To Seal Islamabad's Safa Gold Mall

NAB Directs CDA To Seal Islamabad's Safa Gold Mall
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to seal and take possession of Safa Gold Mall, Islamabad, in light of the Supreme Court orders over corrupt practices without any delay.

A copy of the letter sent by NAB to CDA, which is available with NayaDaur Media, says an investigation into the affairs of Safa Gold Mall was conducted on the allegations of corruption and corrupt practices as defined by the NAB laws, while a reference No 5/2018 has also been filed which is under trial before the Accountability Court No 1.

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The CDA had auctioned Plot No 5 in Jinnah Super Market back in 2010, where a government dispensary was once located. But the city managers in a highly dubious move converted the health facility into a commercial plot which is a severe violation of the civic agency's by-laws.

The NAB arrested some high-ups of the civic agency – including Ghulam Murtaza Malik (Deputy Director General Building Control), Khalil Ahmad (Deputy Director Building Control) and Ammar Abbas (Deputy Director) – in the scam over giving illegal favours to the  mall owner, Rana Abdul Qayyum, which was also detained.

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The letter further added that during the investigations, the NAB Rawalpindi DG last year ordered sealing the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the mall for being illegally constructed beyond the plan approved by the CDA.

It said since orders had been passed by the Supreme Court in the petition regarding Safa Gold Mall, therefore, the CDA should comply with the same in letter and spirit without any delay.

It is said not only the CDA officials were involved in this scam but some in the NAB had been delaying the investigation.

When contacted, the Safa Gold Mall spokesman, Junaid, responded that they had purchased the plot after participating in the CDA auction and “we will fight this legal battle till the end”.

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When asked how three additional floors were constructed in a clear violation of the approved plan, he said it was constructed under the Floor Area Ratio (FAR).    

On the other hand, CDA spokesman Syed Safdar Shah said he will get details from estate department regarding the issue.
Correspondent Islamabad

The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.