When Nawaz Sharif was Punjab chief minister in 1985 he allotted the Auqaf department’s land to Dewan Ghulam Qutab, an investigation team told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The top court was hearing the Pakpattan shrine land case in which Nawaz Sharif is accused of illegally transferring 8,000 kanal of the Auqaf’s land to a man named Dewan Ghulam Qutabuddin.
“Did the former chief minister have the power to allot land?” asked Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.
Nawaz Sharif said that he did not play a role in the case, said his lawyer. The top judge said that the investigation report has come now.
“The CM, in the presence of judicial orders by the courts of the District & Sessions Judge Sahiwal and Honorable Lahore High Court, had no authority to pass the directions in contradiction with these orders and hence it was clearly misuse/abuse of powers. The then CM is fully responsible for this lapse,” the report said.
It noted that Ghulam Qutabuddin and his legal heirs have sold out a major portion of that land illegally.
The investigation team said that criminal proceedings should be initiated against Nawaz, his former secretary Syed Javed Iqbal Bukhari and the heirs of Dewan Ghulam Qutabuddin. It recommended that the illegally transferred land should be retrieved too.
The court ordered Nawaz Sharif and the Punjab government to submit their replies to the report in two weeks.
The situation will become quite difficult for Nawaz Sharif if the trial court starts cross-examining him, Chief Justice Nisar remarked.
On December 13, the court ordered the formation of an investigation team, with NACTA Director General Khalid Dad as its head. Nawaz Sharif submitted his reply in the case. The defence lawyer said that he did not have any problems investigates the case. “Nawaz Sharif is taking the risk of facing a JIT again,” remarked Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. He asked if Nawaz Sharif has reviewed his records. “You said that the secretary gave fake permission.”
On December 4, Nawaz Sharif told the court that JITs cannot be trusted. “I didn’t have a good experience with JITs before.” He was referring to the JIT formed to probe the Panama Leaks case against him. Following its investigation, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the country’s premier and had to step down.
“The case is 32 years old. I don’t even remember it,” he had told the court. “I will tell you the case’s background. The case has been filed by those who claim ownership of the Auqaf department’s land,” said the chief justice. Even the high court said that the land belonged to the Auqaf department.