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PESHAWAR: The special anti-corruption court (central) on Friday sent PML-N leader Amir Muqam’s son and four other suspects to prison on judicial remand for allegedly causing a huge loss to the exchequer by poor construction of Alpuri-Bisham Road in Shangla district.

The suspects including Mr Muqam’s son and director of his family’s company, AM and Company, Ishtiaq Ahmad, resident engineers of Associated Consulting Engineers, the consultant of the project, Mohammad Ashfaq, Mohammad Ayaz and Mohammad Arshad, and attorney holder at Mohammad Irshad and Company Mohammad Ali were held by the Federal Investigation Agency on May 13.

The FIA officials produced them in the court at the end of their three-day physical custody. They sought an extension in physical remand citing the ongoing investigation as the reason but judge Syed Kamal Shah turned down the request and sent the suspects to jail on remand.

The counsel for the suspects said it was a case of political victimisation as federal minister for communication Murad Saeed was instrumental in the Fir’s registration.

Anti-corruption court declines FIA’s request for further physical remand

They said the minister had written to FIA and other anti-corruption bodies to start probe over the issue.

The counsel said Ishtiaq Ahmad had submitted all required documents to the FIA and that nothing wrong had taken place in the project.

They added that the FIA was not clear about the exact illegality committed by their clients in the project.

The FIA claimed that the ministry of communications had informed it in Nov 2018 that the Alpuri-Bisham Road’s rehabilitation and widening had caused heavy loss to the exchequer due to improper execution and the non-compliance with the National Highway Authority’s rules.

The agency carried out an inquiry and found out that the original scope of work was enhanced by more than 15 percent wherein such enhanced work had been executed under the running contract against the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rule No 42-C (IV).

It claimed that work had been delayed, while no penalty had been imposed over such delay and that extension in time limits wasn’t regularised.

The suspects were produced in the court amid strict security measures as the PML-N members gathered outside the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is situated, in large numbers.

MNA Murtaza Abbasi, MPAs Jamshed Mohmand, Sardar Yousaf and Aurangzeb Nalotha, former provincial minister Abdul Subhan, former MNA Dr Ibadullah, provincial spokesperson for PML-N Ikhtiar Wali led the protesters, who shouted slogans against the government and insisted that the arrests were made by the ruling PTI to settle political scores.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019