SC summons minister Saad Rafique to explain connections with Paragon, Twin Towers

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—Photo source: Millat online


LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Thursday summoned Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique for March 10 to explain his connections with Paragon City (Lahore) and Twin Towers at 1-Constitutional Avenue, Islamabad.

The court also summoned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officer concerned to know about scope of investigations in Paragon Housing Society case.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan passed these orders while hearing a suo motu notice regarding LDA City Housing Scheme Lahore. The bench heard the matter at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.

As the proceedings began, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Zahid Akhtar Zaman appeared before the bench and submitted two separate reports regarding partner companies and relevant laws which allow the LDA to engage private firms for acquiring the housing scheme land. He added that the authority was empowered to engage private firms for the housing scheme under Section-13 of the Lahore Development Authority (Amendment) Ordinance besides other laws.

The director general admitted that the NAB was also holding an inquiry into the LDA City case, in response to a bench query.

To another court query, he submitted that the six companies were selected for acquiring the LDA City land but one company did not start its operation. Only five companies actually took part in the process, he added.

However, Imtiaz Rafi Butt, an owner of Millennium Land Company, explained that his company had also withdrawn itself from the project.

The director general further apprised the bench about partner companies and their owners, including Urban Developers, Pak Estate and Paragon City. He submitted that he was trying to get full details from the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan about directors/owners of the Paragon City.

At this, the chief justice observed that it was publicly known that Railways Minister Saad Rafique had connections with Paragon City and Twin Towers. He should be summoned to explain his position in this regard, the  CJP added.

The bench summoning the minister and the NAB officer adjourned further hearing till March 10.—APP

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