corporations swindling homeless in Islamabad FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 3 May 1998 22:29:28 -0700 (PDT)


FWD http://dawn.com/daily/text/local14.htm
Dawn Internet Edition: 29 April 1998 - 02 Muharram 1419

  ISLAMABAD: HOMELESS AT THE MERCY OF PRIVATE CONCERNS

  By Our Correspondent


ISLAMABAD, April 28: Private concerns, with tall claims about housing
schemes, are mushrooming in the twin cities as well as Peshawar and Lahore
to exploit homeless people and swindle them.

A survey carried out recently by the Dawn revealed that some tricksters,
active in this field, have adopted a novel method of duping people through
advertisements of so-called housing projects in newspapers, which say that
some plots would be allotted free of cost through a draw.

People apply for plots and, in response, receive congratulatory letters
from so-called housing societies, with an advice to deposit plot
registration fee with the firm or corporation concerned. On receipt of
amount against the so-called plot allotment, fake documents, pertaining to
registration thereof, are supplied to clients, thus depriving them of their
money.

A practising lawyer, S.A.Jalal, told the Dawn about the modus operandi of
those who are operating in the twin cities and cheating people.

Syed Rehman, who is a Bar Council member and one of the victims of a
housing scheme scam, has filed a suit in the court of Haji Ahmad, Senior
Civil Judge of Islamabad, for the recovery of Rs 24,770 from a housing
concern called National Housing and Planning Corporation, based in
Rawalpindi.

Mr Rehman said in his petition that he had applied for a plot to the
corporation and, after some days, he received a greeting letter from the
firm informing him that he had succeeded in getting a plot, No 9, in Sector
II of Block D in Fatima Town, situated near Islamabad Airport, measuring
five marlas, free of cost. A representative of the housing corporation had
met him in the office of his colleague in I-8/1 Markaz, saying that
although he had offered the plot free of cost to the latter, he was to pay
Rs7,770 to cover expenses of membership and registration. The money was
paid.

But, Mr Rehman said in the petition, he was surprised to see that what he
received in return was a registered deed on non-judicial stamps worth Rs60
which, he said, showed clearly that he had been cheated out of the money he
had paid to the corporation.

The petitioner's counsel said the project director of the corporation was
contacted several times for the refund of the money but, in spite of
promises, he had delayed the matter on one pretext or the other. Thus the
petitioner had "suffered a great mental torture and agony, and could not
sleep for so many nights," the counsel said. Hence, he said, his client was
entitled to claim Rs1 million damages from the corporation but instead he
was claiming Rs17,000 only.

Mr Rehman has prayed to the court to grant a decree in his favour for the
recovery of Rs24,770.

The court has summoned the corporation's project director on May 14.

Sher Ali, another victim of such housing scheme scam told the Dawn that a
group of persons had promised him a plot but after paying Rs75,000, he came
to know that he had been swindled.

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