Can CDA demolish attached property, Musharraf asks

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ISLAMABAD: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, in response to being fined by for excessive construction at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse, has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to clarify if it can demolish a property that has been attached and frozen by the court.

Mr Musharraf was recently fined Rs21 million by the CDA, which he has not yet deposited. The CDA has also issued him a show-cause notice.

In a letter dated Jan 10, Mr Musharraf’s personal secretary told the authority that a response to the CDA’s first notice, dated Dec 8, 2018, had already been sent “along with copy of court orders for which the lease holders seeks some clarification on legal issues, which are still awaited”.

Mr Musharraf has asked the CDA whether the authority can demolish a property attached and frozen by the court. The letter said that a copy of the CDA’s show-cause notice was submitted to a Supreme Court lawyer and Mr Musharraf’s attorney, who would contact the authority soon.

Last month, the former president’s personal secretary said that a court order mentioned payment to the CDA for excess covered area.

The letter said there was no mention in the notice of Rs1.25 million already paid.

“The earlier letter also stated that an area of 715.45 square foot was constructed for the security personnel while the ex-president of Pakistan arrived in Islamabad in early 2013 to face the court cases. It is requested the area built for security personnel (Rangers/Police) may kindly be exempted as special case,” it said.

The letter went on to say that all of Mr Musharraf’s properties, including the aforementioned farmhouse, his accounts, his pension account and his mother’s family pension account, have been attached and frozen by the court.

It said: “The lease holder respect the Honourable Courts and ready to comply court orders but to proceed further, please clarify that can it be legally permissible to demolish the property attached/frozen by the Honourable Courts?”

The letter also asked the CDA to refund the sum already paid for the excess construction.

“The refund amount may please be paid in the name of Begum Sehba Musharraf, which can be used as expenditure for demolish the excess area, as the ex-president have no other source of income,” said the letter in response to which the CDA issued a show-cause notice to Mr Musharraf stating that the excess construction would be demolished if he does not pay the fine.

On Jan 10, Mr Musharraf issued another letter asked the CDA to clarify if frozen or attached property could be demolished.

According to a survey by the authority, there are 117 agro-farmhouses with excessive construction.

“After the survey, 117 farmhouses were found where the covered area exceeded the permissible limit of 9,500sq ft.” said a CDA official, who added that notices and show-cause notices were served to the owners of these properties.

In a judgement issued last September, the SC permitted 9,500sq ft of legitimate covered area on agro-farms and up to 12,500sq ft with a fine. CDA official said some 10 violators have paid fines to regularise excessive construction.