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ACE DG starts probe into Pakpattan land case

ACE DG starts probe into Pakpattan land case
January 7, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) director general has started a probe into the Pakpattan land case. He has summoned Nawaz Sharif’s secretary to CM, custodian to the shrine and officers of the Revenue and Auqaf departments. The Supreme Court had formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe allegations of the illegal allotment of the property against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N supremo is facing a charge that as the chief minister of Punjab in 1986 he had ordered withdrawal of a notification of Dec 17, 1969 and allegedly allotted huge lands of Auqaf around Pakpattan to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in violation of a high court order. Sharif had expressed his reservations over being probed by a JIT, but later he agreed to the formation of a JIT.


After the Partition, Dewan Ghulam Qutab and his family used to be the 'owners' of the shrine’s land as per the revenue record from 1947 to 1958. The family sold the land to different people until Jan 1, 1970, when the Punjab government notified the Auqaf Department as the rightful owner of the land and Dewans, the custodian of the shrine. When Dewans moved the court, the Lahore High Court decided against them. In 1986, the government withdrew its 1970 notification and the Dewans reciprocated by withdrawing their appeal from the Lahore High Court against the decision. With this, the Dewans resumed their land selling business and the revenue department issued ownership rights (fard) to all buyers. In the meantime, a 1981 case regarding 17 marlas land filed in a civil court reached the Supreme Court by 2015. The apex court chief justice took suo motu of the land deals of the shrine and summoned officials of the Revenue and Auqaf departments and the Dewans. After some hearings, the Supreme Court declared notification of Aug 28, 1986, illegal and nullified all land deals done since then. The decision reportedly affected 100,000 residents of different localities. The Dewans filed a review petition with the Supreme Court against its 2015 decision which remained pending since then.