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NAB chairman told by SHC to order probe into fake call-up notice

Updated April 17, 2019

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The Sindh High Court on Tuesday asked the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau to look into an alleged fake call-up notice issued to a citizen. ─ Wikimedia Commons
The Sindh High Court on Tuesday asked the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau to look into an alleged fake call-up notice issued to a citizen. ─ Wikimedia Commons

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday asked the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau to look into an alleged fake call-up notice issued to a citizen.

A two-judge SHC bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh expressed dissatisfaction on a report filed by the director general of NAB, Sindh, and said that the chairman should order an inquiry into the matter.

Shamshad Ali moved the SHC against a call-up notice he allegedly received from NAB last year.

The DG NAB appeared before the bench on Tuesday.

In his reply/comments, filed on his behalf in compliance with court orders issued on earlier hearings, he submitted that the petitioner had received a fake NAB letter with false signatures of a NAB official, Mohammad Ali Afridi, and it was dispatched through a courier service from Hyderabad on Aug 7, 2018.

The anti-graft watchdog admits that the notice was fake and bore bogus signature

He stated that a fact-finding inquiry was conducted and its report was submitted to the competent authority in November which revealed that the letter in question was fake with bogus signatures of Mr Afridi.

The petitioner was also interviewed and he said that prior to receiving the letter he had also received calls on his mobile phone from an official landline number as well as from a mobile number, the comments said.

NAB further stated in its reply that the caller introduced himself as Ali Akbar, an officer of NAB, to the petitioner and asked him to resolve his land dispute with one Zulfiqar Ali or to appear at NAB sub-office in Hyderabad to record his statement.

The mobile number used to call the petitioner was registered in the name of Ali Akbar, a resident of district Naushahro Feroze, and the analysis of the frequent locations suggested that it was being used in Hyderabad, it said, adding that the official landline number was installed at the office of the registrar of the accountability court, Hyderabad.

NAB further said that the inquiry officer recommended that the matter of misuse of official number may be taken up with the registrar of the accountability court and the particulars of the impersonator available with NAB may be forwarded to the SSP Hyderabad for necessary legal action.

It stated that these recommendations were approved by the then competent authority and accordingly the prosecution wing was requested to take up the matter with the registrar of the accountability court and a letter was forwarded to the DIG Hyderabad along with all available particulars.

In pursuance of the court order dated April 12, NAB submitted that the record of inward/outward investigation wing-III was maintained on a computer from July 2018 which lasted till December 31, 2018.

It was initiated on the directions of the then director IW-III on the pretext of mitigating the complexities/delays in sorting and searching for the correspondence and to streamline the inward/outward record of the wing.

However, owing to the risk of manoeuvring and the possibility of deleting the data, the record maintenance was reverted back to manual register from Jan 1, 2019 and soft copies were printed and were affixed on a register for perusal of the court, it added.

“That it is further submitted that from October 2018 till April 2019 the bureau has been appearing before this honourable court in approximately more than 8,000 times in different constitutional petitions, writ petitions, appeals, etc in different cases out of which on 15-20 times this honourable court has rightly pointed out some observations which are being addressed in true latter and spirit,” it maintained.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2019