Former Rawalpindi commissioner Captain (retired) Muhammad Mahmood, one of the key accused in the multibillion rupee Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) scandal, has been acquitted after an inquiry committee declared him as innocent.
At least 13 other officers, including Land Acquisition Officer Waseem Tabish, implicated in the scandal have also been acquitted following departmental inquiries. The inquiry committee reportedly termed the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal as malicious and malafide.
Since the suspension of the project by the former PTI government, its cost has gone up from an estimated Rs60 billion to Rs90 billion.
The scandal was said to involve former federal ministers Sheikh Rashid, Zulfi Bukhari and Ghulam Sarwar Khan, however, inquiries had given the ministers a clean chit but implicated officers managing the project.
Earlier this year, investigators probing the project had unearthed plans by a few dozen investors for generating astronomical illicit wealth worth around Rs3.2 trillion in the backdrop of the controversial project.
Documents showed that fake plot files were created using fake certificates of clearance and other official-looking documents for green land measuring 226,000 acres, supposedly lying along a fake alignment of the ring road project to generate billions through speculative real estate trading in the open market.
Investigators had found that the illicit trading of “property” along RRR amounted to an estimated Rs500 billion for investors and impacted residents, investors and even overseas Pakistanis. NNI