Tycoon gets a breather but son not so lucky
RAWALPINDI, July 31: An anti-corruption court in Rawalpindi, on Tuesday, suspended its order, regarding attachment of properties of property tycoon, Malik Riaz, in a land fraud case, till August 15.
The court, however, did not reverse its order for the attachment of properties of the tycoon’s son, who is the chief executive officer of Bahria Town (BT) and seven other accused, in the same case.
Anti-corruption judge Ameer Mohammad Khan, while taking up an application filed by the tycoon through his counsel Dr Abdul Basit suspended his own order on Monday, in which he declared Malik Riaz as proclaimed offender (PO) and ordered to attach his movable and immovable properties and of his son Ali Riaz and seven other accused, namely Melad Bibi alias Hammad Bibi, Sheikh Sajidur Rehman, Iftikhar Munshi, Iqbal Hussain Shah, Mohammad Ashfaq, Dildar Hussain and Nisarul Haq.
Dr Basit told the court that Sindh High Court (SHC) has granted Malik Riaz four weeks protective bail that would expire on August 15. He also produced certified copies of the SHC order regarding protective bail.
He asserted that since the order of SHC was still in the field, therefore, the trial court could not initiate any adverse action against Malik Riaz, till the expiry of protective bail, adding that declaring his client a PO and initiating the process for the attachment of his properties
would be tantamount to contempt of SHC orders.
Dr Basit told Dawn that Malik Riaz was innocent as he purchased the property of 1,401 kanals near Rawat sold by property dealers but the Punjab prosecution dragged him unnecessarily into the controversy.
The property dealers prepared forged documents and the management of BT registered a criminal case against the dealers for selling them land on forged documents, he added.
The court observed that the SHC granted protective bail to Malik Riaz only and the other accused were still fugitives; therefore, the court order issued a day earlier for the attachment of the properties of accused persons would not be reversed.
Prosecutor general Punjab, Sadaqat Ali Khan on the other hand told Dawn that the process for the attachment of properties of the accused person, including the son of property tycoon Malik Riaz has been initiated.
He said Ali Riaz, the tycoon’s son is the chief executive of BT and owned a number of movable and immovable assets and bank accounts.
He said a process for the attachment of Ali Riaz has been initiated in which deputy collector would collect the details of his vehicles, properties, business and bank accounts and after the attachment of the assets, commissioner Rawalpindi would become the custodian of the attached properties.
According to him, if the accused would not surrender before the court, then all the attached properties would be confiscated and then auctioned.
It may be pertinent to mention that Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had booked Malik Riaz, his son Ali Riaz and their accomplices in the land fraud case, which was based on two FIRs registered against them for acquiring 1,401 kanals of land on fake and forged documents in 2009.
Meanwhile, judicial magistrate Rawalpindi on Tuesday extended physical remand for another two days of three officials of Islamabad
police-ASI Ali Syed, constables Mohammad Yaqoob and Tahir Saeed in Roohulla’s escape case.
The police officials were arrested on Sunday, after the escape of Roohullah, a key suspect in the murder case of former attorney general, Sardar Khan from the District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi.
At the time of escape, Roohullah was in the custody of the said three police officials.