High Court accepts writ petition for hearing against alleged illegal construction tenders issued by PDA

Haris Qadeer

RAWALAKOT: The High Court has accepted the writ petition for hearing, against alleged illegal construction tenders issued by the Pearl Development Authority (PDA), a development agency in Rawalakot. Earlier, a writ petition was filed on June 16 by the petitioner company Chinar Associates. The court issued a stay order and directed the PDA officials to appear before the court on June 25. Sardar Waqas Afsar Advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioner company during the hearing on June 25. While, Sardar Suleman Khan Advocate and Sardar Rebaz Khan Advocate appeared on behalf of PDA and others. Petitioner’s counsel said that PDA has issued tenders for six projects on which work has already been completed three months ago. PDA has already completed the work using its own machinery. While a large number of trees from the graveyard have also been cut and sold. The practice of tender execution and contract allotment is an excuse to embezzle Rs 5.5 million. The petitioners said that the rules were violated in the execution of the tender. For the execution of tenders of more than two million, advertisements have to be placed in at least two national newspapers, but the tender was only issued by the PDA on the website of AJKPPRA. According to the tender issued, tenders were to be submitted on May 20, while tenders were to be opened on May 21. On the contrary, tenders were opened on May 28. And the tender has been allotted to the preferred company and the petitioner has been given business loss. According to the petitioner, PDA issued an invitation for bid to carry out 6 projects inclutding (i). R.C.C artificial wooden type railing near Graveyard/Eidgah/Janaza Gah Kharick, Rawalakot with an estimated cost of Rs. 1965819/-, (ii). Foot path with Eid gah, Parking and road soling Kharick, Rawalakot with estimated cost Rs. 744413/-, (iii). Earthwork and barbed wire fencing around graveyard, Kharick, Rawalakot with estimated cost Rs. 908274/-and protection work graveyard, Kharick Rawalakot with estimated cost Rs. 1957304/-. According to the petitioner, the total value of which is Rs 5.5 million but more than 90% of the work has already been completed. Now the institution just wants to embezzle money. PDA lawyers argued that each project included in the tender was worth less than Rs 2 million, so it was not necessary to advertise in newspapers. The execution of the tender on the AJKPPRA website was a legal process. The license of the petitioner company is not related to the work allotted in the tender. The PDA has also registered an FIR against the petitioner. Therefore, the petition of the petitioner is inadmissible and it would be fair to dismiss the petition. The court, after hearing the lawyers of both the parties, gave a brief verdict and allowed the writ petition for hearing and fixed July 7 as the next date of hearing and ordered that the stay order be continued. It should be noted that various corruption cases against the Pearl Development Authority and other development agencies have come to light in the past, but the Accountability Bureau has not been able to proceed with the hearing of these cases. It has become well-known for the PDA that any complaint lodged against the said institution with the Accountability Bureau or any other institution, a head of that institution gets a plot and the cases are over. The High Court has also ordered a special audit of the institution, but despite the passage of three years, the special audit of the said institution could not be conducted. The officials of the institution use various methods to obstruct the special audit and despite a court order for three years, no special audit has taken place. Political and social leaders have once again demanded a special audit of the Pearl Development Authority Rawalakot after the said writ petition. An appeal has also been made to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of the High Court to take notice of the non-implementation of court decisions and conduct an immediate audit of the Pearl Development Authority so that all the corruption that has taken place since its inception has been exposed, and those responsible can be prosecuted.