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Warrants for arrest of ex-DHA administrator issued

By Malik Asad 2015-02-18
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad HighCourt(IHC)onTuesdayissued bailable warrants for the arrest of retired Brigadier Saadullah Fatmi, the former administrator of Defence Housing Authority (DHA), for his continuous absence from the courtin a contempt case.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the directive in a contempt case for non compliance of his earlier order about the appointment of an arbitrator to settle a dispute between a private builder and the DHA.

The judge also issued a showcause notice to Brig Fatmi and the DHA secretary, retired Lt-Col Ijaz Haroon, and directed them to reply by February 18.

Last year, Justice Siddiqui on a petition of the Multi Nation Venture Development (private) Limited (MNVDL)appointedretiredJustice Munir A. Sheikh as an arbitrator to settle a dispute between the DHA and the builder on a fee of Rs2 mil-lion to be paid by both the parties.

The IHC had ordered the parties to deposit the amount with the deputy registrar of the IHC.

According to the petition, the DHA and the MNVDL signed a joint venture agreement for the construction of Shop-A-Shop project in the DHA Phase II extension. Under the project, the MNVDL was responsible for designing and marketing of the project.

As per the agreement, the profit of the project was to be divided between the two parties at the ratio of 51:49 per cent, respectively.

The agreement could not be materialised and was terminated accordingly. The private builder then demanded the DHA pay it thecost which was occurred during the feasibility and other related work.

Later, the MNVDL filed the petition with the IHC for the appointment of an arbitrator to settle the dispute. However, the DH A seemed reluctant to pay the arbitrator`s fee and Kled an appeal against the order for the appointment of the arbitrator.

In the contempt petition, the builder adopted before the court that it had already paid Rs1 million for the arbitration.

For the last a few weeks, the court had been summoning Brig Fatmi but he did not appear before the judge.

On Tuesday, when the hearing ofthe contempt petition resumed, Ilyas Siddiqui Advocate informed the court that Brig Fatml had engaged him as his lawyer.

When the court asked him why his client was absent, the counsel said since the DHA had challenged the order before a division bench, his client did not attend the proceedings.

Justice Siddiqui observed that Brig Fatmi `is intentionally avoiding appearance before the court.

He issued the bailable warrants for the ex-DHA administrator and directed him to submit Rs10,000 with the station house officer (SHO) of Sihala police. Further hearing of the matter was adjourned till February 18.