Rawalpindi - An anti-corruption court on Saturday rejected the plea for pre-arrest bail of three men including two officers of land revenue department accused of getting illegal gratification for changing the ownership of the land owned by the Top City management near the New Islamabad International Airport.

District and Sessions Judge/Special Judge Anti-Corruption Pervaiz Ismail Joya rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of Naib Tehsildar Malik Safdar, Revenue Officer Farhat Mehmood and a landlord Chaudhry Babar Javed, hailing from Pindh Ranjha. Soon after the cancellation of the plea, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Rawalpindi Region official handcuffed the three accused in the courtroom and shifted them to police station for further investigation.

ACE Rawalpindi Region, on the complaint of the management of Top City (a multi-billion private housing society located near the New Islamabad Airport), had lodged a case under sections 420, 468 and 471 of Pakistan Penal Code and 5 of Anti-Corruption Act against Safdar, Mehmood, Javed, Tehsildar Sohail Maqbool, Qazi Sajjad Garwadar, Chaudhry Ayub and others for tempering the record of the land owned by the Top City management by making bogus entries in the “field book” of the land revenue department to give undue advantage to the local landlords.

According to details, the judge took up the Top City land fraud case during which the three accused appeared before the court for obtaining pre-arrest bail along with their lawyers Malik Waheed Anjum Advocate, Ikram Amin Minhas and Chaudhary Yasir Advocate. The defence lawyers argued before the court that their clients were innocent and had nothing to do with the case.

However, Chaudhry Umar Hayyat Advocate, representing the Top City management, opposed the arguments of the defence saying that the land revenue officers allegedly took a bribe from Javed and others and tempered the field book. The land dispute led to a gun battle between the parties during which a security guard of the private housing society lost his life, the prosecution said. He requested the court to reject the pre-arrest bail plea of the accused. After completion of arguments of both parties, Justice Joya refused to award pre-arrest bail to three accused and ordered ACE investigators to arrest the accused. The investigators held the three accused from the courtroom.

Talking to The Nation, Hayyat said that the court also declared the other accused including Maqbool, Garwadar and Ayub as absconders and ordered the anti-corruption department to arrest them and produce before the court for further proceedings.