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SC seeks reply from respondents over JIT report in Pakpattan land case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has sought response from the respondents on the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report in Pakpattan shrine land allotment case within 15 days.

At the outset of the hearing,  Justice Umar Atta Bandial asked is the allotted land was property of the Auqaf or the government.

To this, the private land owner’s lawyer, Iftikhar Gilani,  replied that the Auqat only take cares of the land, not owns the land.

“I have submitted my reservations and response on the JIT report”, Gillani said.

Justice Bandial remarked that how a chief minister can hand over the land to a private man after signing a summary?.

Former governor Punjab Rafique Rajwana showed up before the SC on the behalf of the incarcerated prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the case.

“The land was handed over the caretaker of the shrine to look after it only, but he sold it”, Rajwana told the court in his arguments.

My counsel has nothing to do with this matter, he continued.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial in his remarks said the land was allotted through a summary signed  by the then chief minister, which was clear violation of the court orders.

The honourable judge seeking reply from the respondents on the JIT report, later adjourned the hearing of the case after Eid.

The court has issued notices to Sharif, the attorney general and others to appear in person or through their lawyers for the hearing of the case.

It is noteworthy that a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted to probe the Pakpattan shrine land case against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif had held him responsible for “illegally transferring” shrine land when he was the chief minister of Punjab in 1985.

Last year, on Dec 13, the top court constituted a JIT to probe the illegal transfer of 14,394 kanals of land  belonging to the Auqaf department in Pakpattan district.

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