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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to inform it as to what steps were taken to arrest former minister for ports and shipping and Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment leader Babar Ghauri in a case pertaining to Rs2.8 billion corruption in the Karachi Port Trust.

A two-judge bench was hearing bail applications of former KPT general manger Rauf Akhtar Farooqui and others who had moved the court praying for bail in the case.

At the outset of the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the judges that the inquiry into the matter had been completed and the reference will be filed in the accountability court shortly. He said that Babar Ghauri, who was the minister for ports and shipping at the time of alleged offence, would also be nominated in the reference.

“What had the NAB done to arrest Ghauri and others? If some accused persons are still absconding, they should be arrested,” one of the bench members remarked.

The SHC which had earlier granted protective bail to Mr Farooqui and other accused persons, extended bail till May 3 and directed the corruption watchdog to submit progress report in the next hearing.

NAB alleged that the accused persons in connivance with each other had illegally regularised 940 employees, causing Rs2.8bn loss to the national exchequer.

Earlier, NAB had prayed to the court to turn down the bail applications of the accused persons claiming that there were concrete evidences against the suspects.

Protection for newlywed couple

Meanwhile, another two-judge bench directed police to provide protection to a couple who married without the consent of the woman’s family.

The newlywed couple, Ali Akbar and Zulekha, hailing from Sujawal district, approached the high court, submitting that they had contracted free-will marriage but the woman’s family did not accept it.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018