Pakpattan land case: SC seeks reply from parties on JIT report within fortnight
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has sought a reply from the parties within a fortnight on the joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Pakpattan land case.
Representing Nawaz Sharif, Rafique Rajwana contended that the then government had given the land for look after, but Sajjada Nasheen sold it out. “Nawaz Sharif has no role in the matter,” he said.
The case has been adjourned until after Eidul Fitr.
On February 2, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had submitted his reply in the Supreme Court in the illegal allotment of land of the Pakpattan shrine case.
In his reply, the former premier said that the JIT report is one-sided and based on malafide. He said that the JIT had not contacted him for a single time.
Nawaz Sharif stated that he was not informed about the approval of terms of reference (TORs) by the court. He prayed to court to reject the JIT report. He, in his reply, also prayed to court to cancel notice issued to him. The reply also contained the affidavit of Zafarullah Khan.
According to the court order, the JIT had representatives of the ISI and IB. “It seems that Hussain Asghar had prepared the report individually, violating the court orders,” he contended.
Nawaz Sharif stated that his basic rights were withheld in the JIT report. “The report contained only the statement of then secretary Javed Bukhari. The statement of Javed Bukhari was recorded on January 7 when the JIT was not formed,” he contended.
BACKGROUND OF CASE
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.