KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday put off the hearing of bail applications of former provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon and others after partly hearing arguments of the National Accountability Bureau’s special prosecutor.

Headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, a two-judge bench adjourned the hearing till Oct 23 when the NAB prosecutor would conclude his arguments.

The PPP leader faces two corruptions references — one pertaining to alleged award of advertisements at exorbitant rates and the other to illegal adjustment and consolidation of hundreds of acres of land in favour of a private housing project.

One of the references sent by the NAB chairman said that the investigation was conducted regarding corruption and corrupt practices in the advertisement awareness campaigns on TV channels and FM radio between July 2013 and June 2015 and it was found that the accused acted with the connivance of each other resulting in losses to the national exchequer.

Bail of ex-DG LDA extended

A division bench extended till Oct 25 the interim pre-arrest bail of former director general of the Lyari Development Authority Agha Masood Abbas and others in a multimillion rupee corruption case.

The bench directed the accountability court concerned to conclude the trial expeditiously after the special prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau complained that the accused were deliberately delaying the conclusion of the trial.

The bench also called for progress report regarding the trial.

SSPs’ bail case

Meanwhile, a two-judge bench put off the hearing of bail applications of two senior superintendents of police as their counsel did not turn up in court.

Former assistant inspector general of police (Finance) Fida Hussain Shah and AIG (Logistics) Tanveer Ahmed have been accused of embezzling Rs50m of funds released to pay fuel charges and make special security arrangements for Muharram.

The two senior police officers had on June 19 escaped from the Sindh High Court after an interim pre-arrest bail granted to them was revoked by a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh.

The bench had also rejected their applications for entering into a plea bargain deal with NAB.

Later on July 5, the two SSPs moved the Supreme Court that also rejected their bail pleas. AIG Fida again escaped, but SSP Tanvir was arrested immediately after rejection of their bail pleas.

It was alleged in the reference that Fida sought approval from the Sindh police chief to pay for the fuel and other expenses.

Subsequently, suspect Tahir allegedly sent five bills of Rs10m each to the Accountant General, Sindh for the release of the amount in the names of M/s Standard Services Station and M/s Quick Filling Station, Racecourse Road, Sukkur.

It was further alleged that Rs30m was withdrawn in the name of M/s Standard Services Station and Rs20m in the name of M/s Quick Filling Station.

The NAB investigation revealed that the fuel stations in question had neither issued any bills for payment of the amount nor they had received any such payment.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2017

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