President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday ordered a refund of Rs 1.1 million to the complainant, who was denied return of the conversion fee deposited to Capital Development Authority (CDA) for setting up a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station. Complainant Maj (retd) Masood Bajwa had filed a representation with the president, contesting the order of the Wafaqi Mohtasib, which had turned down his plea on the grounds of limitation and also on the basis of the CDA Board’s decision declaring the NOC fee as non-refundable. The president, in his decision, stated that the complainant’s money, deposited for a specific purpose, could not be forfeited nor confiscated without the backing of the existing laws. He said the CDA Board was not empowered to act on whims, especially when its actions deprive a citizen of his own money. As per details of the case, Major (r) Masood Bajwa, after getting permission to install a CNG station in 2007 by CDA, had deposited a conversion fee amounting to Rs1.1 million. After facing excessive delays in obtaining necessary NOCs from different departments, the complainant dropped the idea and requested CDA to refund the conversion fee. The CDA rejected the request of the complainant on the basis of its board’s decision, dated 15.08.2013, wherein it decided that “in future every NOC that is issued by CDA would be for a specific time period, fee paid for obtaining NOC should be non-refundable and provision/condition to these effects must be specifically stated in the NOC to be issued”. The Authority conveyed the decision to the complainant on July 23, 2018. The complainant then took the matter to Wafaqi Mohtasib on July 2, 2020. The Wafaqi Mohtasib declined the instant representation of the complainant Sept 4, 2020, saying that the complaint had been made after three months from the date of CDA’s decision. It said the plea was set aside for being time-barred. Subsequently, Bajwa filed a representation to the president on Nov 9, 2020, contending that the learned Wafaqi Mohtasib had closed his complaint on grounds of limitation, not on merit, and that the CDA was depriving him of his rightful claim. President Alvi in his written order said no law could deprive the applicant of his own deposited money as the CDA Board’s decision (dated Aug 15, 2013) could not be implemented retrospectively.