ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab has filed a case against a member of the Punjab Assembly and a former federal legislator, despite a statement from the Lahore High Court (LHC) before their inclusion in the First Information Reports (FIRs). Cases are registered. He had ordered stagnation on the lands under discussion.
Another important feature of both the FIRs is that the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Layyah acted on the basis of WhatsApp messages received from him on a reference to a senior member of the Board of Revenue (Center Member).
Both the accused Thaqleen Shah Bukhari and Ejaz Ahmad Achalana belong to PML-N. Bukhari is the party president of Dera Ghazi Khan district while Achalana is an MPA. Both FIRs contain almost identical facts. The only difference is in the different parts of the earth. Leh DC, in its reports to the ACE, made it clear that the LHC had issued status quo orders in both cases. However, the ACE has so far decided to register an FIR based on these reports. DC wrote: “Special Report – Your Reference [SMBR] WhatsApp message in view of “your” instructions regarding the issue of illegal allotment of land to Bukhari within Layyah district. He said the matter has been raised and questioned. He also made his discovery. In its investigation, the DC said that Bukhari got the illegally allotted lands and managed to adjust against other lands which are pending in the courts. The SMBR had canceled this “adjustment” of lands.
According to the FIR, Bukhari had challenged the SMBR’s decision in the Multan Bench’s LHC and obtained the status order. The DC report said that the accused are still occupying these lands and they have also bought lands on Main Road, Kot Sultan through various persons which have been sold as unregistered colonies / plots. It is alleged that the accused also used government funds to build a metal road on the land. The DC had also received information on the matter from the concerned Assistant Commissioners.
In a recent case, the Multan Special Anti-Corruption Judge made it clear that the ACE could not register a case or arrest an accused without investigating the complaint under the law and rules. The judge referred extensively to the ACE rules that govern his work before reaching a decision. The judge said in his order that it was clear from the Multan DC’s request that he had written to the ACE for an inquiry and not for registering a criminal case against the accused. For this reason, he dismissed the FIR.