KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Friday directed a joint investigation team probing the fake accounts case to hold an inquiry into loans worth Rs50 billion obtained by the Omni Group from different banks after the JIT head said the required stocks [assets] against the loans were not available.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, which had taken up the fake accounts case at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, also asked the JIT head to take criminal action against the Omni Group officials if the stocks were found missing during the probe.

The chief justice warned the Sindh chief secretary and secretaries of various provincial departments of stern action in case of further complaints about non-cooperation with the JIT in future after its head informed the bench that in the light of the apex court’s Oct 22 directives, a quite considerable help was being extended by the provincial authorities.

Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency and JIT head Ahsan Sadiq informed the court that during the investigation into fake accounts they came to know that the Omni Group had obtained loans of Rs23bn from the National Bank of Pakistan, Rs20bn from the Sindh Bank and Rs7bn from the Summit Bank.

He said the mandatory stocks against these loans were not available; there must be stocks of Rs13.5bn, but only Rs2bn was available and the remaining Rs11.5bn was missing or not available.

The chief justice observed that apparently this was the reason behind the plan of Summit Bank’s merger into the Sindh Bank in order to adjust the loans.

The chief secretary and secretaries of finance, irrigation and other departments assured the court that they would fully cooperate with the JIT. However, the chief justice warned that any complaint about lack of cooperation in future would be considered as disobedience and vehement action would be taken.

During the hearing, CJP Nisar directed the provincial law officer to ask the Sindh chief minister to meet him in chamber as he had to discuss some issues pertaining to the fake accounts case.

According to the law officer, the chief minister was not in the city on Friday and likely to meet the chief justice on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the apex court allowed surgery of Taha Raza, the corporate unit head of the Summit Bank and currently in prison in the money laundering case, in a private hospital at the request of his parents.

The court was informed that a medical board constituted on its order had recommended the surgery of a “fractured” leg of the suspect.

The chief justice directed the hospital to send him back to the prison after the surgery and file a compliance report.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2018

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