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HCJP TAKES NOTICE OF THE MULTIBILLION SCAM IN THE EMPLOYEES OLD AGE BENEFIT INSTITUTE (EOBI)

Dated: 29-June-2013

HCJP TAKES NOTICE OF THE MULTIBILLION SCAM IN THE EMPLOYEES OLD AGE BENEFIT INSTITUTE (EOBI) AND ISSUE NOTICES TO ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR PAKISTAN, SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, DG, FIA, CHAIRMAN, EOBI AND MR. ZAFAR IQBAL GONDAL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, EOBI TO APPEAR BEFORE COURT ON 01.07.2013

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took notice on note of the Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan containing the details of a TV programme televised on 27.06.2013 revealing the corruption scandal of more than 40 billion rupees in the Employees Old Age Benefit Institute (EOBI).

The note further stated that the Programme, alleged multibillion rupees corruption in EOBI in the last three years and that Mr. Zafar Iqbal Gondal, Chairman, DG, Investment and DG, HR etc are involved in the scam. Reportedly, they have invested billion of rupees in the private sector, contrary to rules and without the approval of Board of Trustees, and thus plundered more than 40 billion rupees. However, the Government departments remained silent over the multibillion scam and did not bother to take action in the matter to prevent the culprits from plundering public money and ensure its recovery from them. The details of some alleged mega scams in the EOBI aired in the said programme are as under:

 

a.                Purchase of Plots in DHA – They entered into a deal with DHA without permission of the Board of Trustees for purchase of plots and land. The market value is one billion whereas 16 billion have been paid as cost and in this way, loss of 15 billion has been inflicted on to EOBI, as also reveled by Transparency International. A big business Tycoon of Pakistan is said to be involved in the said deal. Further, payments of billions of rupees have been made even after the stay order was issued by the Lahore High Court due to which contempt proceedings were initiated and are pending in that Court. The DG, Investment EOBI has also been arrested in this scam.

 

b.                Purchase of Crown Plaza in F-7 Markaz, Islamabad. The said Plaza has been purchased by EOBI from the owner namely Abdul Qayyum for an amount of 1.2 billion whereas the actual price of the same was 55 crore and in this way loss of 65 crore was caused. This case is pending before the High Court and order for probe has been made therein. Surprisingly, this agreement was signed by an unauthorized person.

 

c.                 Purchase of 4300 cc two Prado cars for personal use. The said Chairman purchased two 4300 cc Prado cars for personal use and in this way caused loss of rupees 4 crore 12 lac. Further, only 1300 cc cars were allowed to be purchased as per Government policy, therefore, the Board of Trustees raised objection on the said purchase and some members went to Court for action in the matter. 

 

d.                Purchase of two Controversial Plots in Sukkar. It has been alleged that under pressure of a senator of PPP, two controversial plots of 40 kanalshave been purchased in Sukkar as against the actual cost of 12 crorewhich is over and above the market value. Again, the plots have been purchased without approval of the Board of Trustees. Further, agreement of the said plots has been made, contrary to rules, with a person who is not the sole owner as property belongs to three persons. Besides, payment has been made whereas plots are still under occupation of Qabza group.

 

e.                Development of Cricket Ground in Islamabad. Huge amount of rupees 6 to 8 crore have been spent on development of a cricket ground in violation of rules and there is hardly any increase of revenue generation from the said ground. Therefore, loss of about 6 to 8 crore has been caused to EOBI.

 

f.                  Purchas of 7 Plots from CDA.  It has been alleged that contrary to the order of Lahore High Court, 7 plots have been purchased from CDA against payment of 2 crore. The said purchase is totally in violation of rules as well as Lahore High Court order, where directions were issued that no more property be purchased and no further payment be made.

 

g.                Purchase of 40 kanals 16 marlas land in Lahore. Allegedly, 40 kanals 16 marlas land has been purchased in village Sehjpal (15 – 20 km away from Lahore city) through an unknown company namely East Management for an amount of 1 billion 43 crore, which is 300% over and above the market value. Again, the deal is without the approval of Board of Trustees and the above named Chairman had directly taken commission and kickbacks, whereas FIA and NAB remained silent.

 

h.                Purchase of Four Floors of Plaza/Hotel in Lahore. Allegedly, the said Chairman has purchased four floors of plaza/hotel of his close relative for an amount of 25 crore and purchased parking area for an amount of 32 crore and also spent 5 core on its renovation. However, not a single penny of revenue has been generated from it and thus loss of 65 to 70 crore is caused to EOBI. Again, this property of 10 crore market value has been purchased for 70 crore.

 

i.                   Construction of 7 Star Hotel in front of Airport, Lahore. Allegedly, as per feasibility report of construction of 7 star hotel in front of Airport at Lahore, the project was started in year 2005 and estimated expenditure involved in the project was 4 – 5 billion rupees and tendered was given to Novatel Company. However, the said Chairman stopped the construction work and started digging a well and spent 55 crore rupees on it. The matter went to Court and heavy fine was imposed on EOBI. In this way loss of some 9 billion has been caused to EOBI.

 

j.                  Construction of M-9 Motorway by EOBI. Allegedly, the said Chairman, EOBI involved the institution in bidding of 6 billion for construction of M-9 Motorway contrary to rules, as no risky investment is allowed under the rules.

 

k.                Purchase of 20 crore Land near Karachi Airport in 2 billion. Allegedly, the said Chairman and others have purchased a land having market value of 20 crore near Karachi Airport for a cost of 2 billion from a person other than owner and in this way caused huge loss to EOBI.

 

Further, the note states that the Anchor also took a telephone call from Mr. Imran Ali Shah, Member, EOBI who verified the above contents and added that there are some more cases of corruption allegedly indulged in by the said Chairman and others. He added that he raised his voice against the said corruption and has even gone to Court for the recovery of the said looted money.

 

The note concludes that from the above, it is obvious that corruption of multibillion rupees appears to be involved in the above said projects/purchases due to which loss of more than 40 billion rupees has been caused to the EOBI. Most of deals have been made without the approval of Board of Trustees, in violation of rules and some contrary to court orders. The HCJ may therefore consider taking suo moto action in the matter under Article 184(3) of the Constitution as it entails violation of Article 9 and 24 of the Constitution.  

 

Taking the notice Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan passed the following order:-

       

        “The matter be registered as Constitution Petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and be fixed in the Court on 1.7.2013. Notices be issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan, Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, DG, FIA, Chairman, EOBI and Mr. Zafar Iqbal Gondal, former Chairman, EOBI to appear before the Court on the said date.”

 
 
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