An accountability court in Karachi has issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Zain Malik, the son-in-law of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, in a case related to the illegal merger of commercial land to Bahria Town.
Former Karachi mayor, Syed Mustafa Kamal, former Karachi district coordination officer Fazlur Rehman, former executive district officer Iftikhar Qaimkhani are also named in the case.
During the course of the hearing, Kamal and other accused appeared before the court on bail, but Malik was absent, which irked the accountability court-III judge.
Zain Malik’s counsel informed the court that his client is in the UK for treatment and filed a request to record his statement from the UK.
The judge, however, dismissed the application and issued his non-bailable warrants. He ordered the investigation officer to produce Malik before the court on the next date of hearing.
The indictment of Kamal, Rehman, and Qaimkhani was delayed until October 9.
In June 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference against the former mayor Mustafa Kamal and officials at the following posts at the time including, DCO Rehman, EDO Qaimkhani, district officer Mumtaz Haider, additional DO Syed Nishat Ali, and Clifton sub-registrar-II Nazir Zardari.
The reference also mentioned five builders — Zain Malik, Mohammad Dawood, Mohammad Yaqoob, Mohammad Irfan, and Mohammad Rafiq — all associated with M/s DJ Builders and Developers.
It maintained that Zain Malik and others associated with M/s DJ Builders purchased 102 out of 198 stalls in Clifton meant for dislocated hawkers with the connivance of former Karachi mayor and other officials.
These plots were then transferred to Bahria Town Private Limited through a conveyance deed without the permission of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA).
The price of these stalls in the deed was given as only Rs. 260 million. However, according to the NAB reference, the property valued Rs. 2.155 billion, and the forced sale value was at Rs. 1.724 billion.
According to NAB, Zain Malik was the primary beneficiary of this illegal merger.
Earlier this month, the court had rejected an acquittal plea of Malik, who later said that he might opt for a plea bargain with NAB.