KARACHI: Following the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani by the National Accountability Bureau, a provincial minister and two lawmakers of the Pakistan Peoples Party approached the Sindh High Court on Friday to get pre-arrest bail.
A two-judge SHC bench, headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, granted interim pre-arrest bail to provincial Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Taimur Talpur and former federal minister Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani against a surety bond of Rs500,000 and Rs1 million, respectively.
The bench also issued notices to NAB on an identical petition filed by former Sindh local government minister Jam Khan Shoro regarding alleged harassment by NAB in a fresh matter.
The court also granted interim bail to PPP MPA Raja Razzaq against a surety bond of Rs1m after he moved the court fearing his arrest.
However, the SHC directed the petitioners to cooperate with NAB in the investigations.
NAB has been conducting inquiries against minister Taimur Talpur, MNA Aijaz Jakhrani and MPA Raja Razzaq
Minister Talpur, through his lawyer, submitted that he received a call-up notice from NAB last month seeking details about his assets. Expressing apprehension that he may be arrested, the minister requested the court to grant him pre-arrest bail.
The SHC granted him interim bail till March 29 and put NAB on notice with direction to file comments by the next hearing.
Former federal minister Jakhrani, currently a PPP MNA from Jacobabad, submitted in his petition that NAB was probing an allegation against him that he owned assets beyond his known source of income.
He expressed the apprehension that he may be arrested by NAB in connection with the said inquiry and requested the court to grant him pre-arrest bail.
The SHC allowed his bail application till the next hearing and directed NAB to file its reply within three weeks.
Former LG minister Jam Khan Shoro, who is already facing three inquiries, approached the SHC submitting that he owned a fuel station in Hyderabad and NAB had issued a call-up notice about the status of land on which the CNG station was established.
He maintained that the land in question belonged to him and alleged that NAB was “pressuring” the department concerned to declare it as state land.
The lawyer for the former minister argued that the petitioner was being harassed by NAB due to his political affiliation and pleaded for a restraining order.
The SHC put NAB on notice for March 14 to file comments.
Earlier, the SHC had also granted interim bail to Shoro in three inquiries being conducted by NAB including alleged illegal auction of 62 plots in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and taking bribes through his alleged frontman.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019