KARACHI: An accountability court disqualified Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Syed Ali Nawaz Shah from Sindh Assembly after convicting him and his two close relatives in a fraud case.
The court convicted Ali Nawaz on Thursday along with his nephew, Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah, and cousin, former MNA Syed Khadim Ali Shah, in a case pertaining to land revenue fraud worth millions of rupees.
The court has imposed a fine of Rs0.56 million on Nawaz Shah, while Khadim Shah and Imtiaz Shah have been asked to pay a fine of Rs0.54 million and Rs0.43 million, respectively.
The veteran politician and PPP lawmaker was disqualified from holding membership of the legislature for ten years and was sentenced to five years in prison.
His cousin Syed Khadim, who also served as the federal population minister in 1988, and nephew Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah, have been sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively.
The reference filed in 2001 alleged that Ali Nawaz Shah and others sold land to government at inflated prices and later claimed the land as their own.
The trio was accused of forging the land revenue department record for the purpose.
The accused allegedly made fake ‘power of attorney’ so that executants of the power of attorney received the payment of compensation of land on owner’s behalf.
However, no such power of attorney was actually given by land owner in favour of the contractor or his representative.
Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf, Ali Nawaz Shah's spokesman, while talking to Dawn, termed the action a case of political victimisation, claiming that the fraud was committed by local revenue officials and not by Shah or his relatives.
Ashraf maintained that they were likely to challenge the verdict in the Sindh High Court.
Ali Nawaz Shah, who was first elected as member of the Sindh Assembly in 1977 also served as federal minister for industries in 1989. He has been elected a Senator and MPA three times since then.