NAB completes corruption probe against ex-law minister Lanjar

Updated July 10, 2019

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The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday that the investigations had been completed against former provincial law minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar and a reference would be filed against him after getting approval from the competent authority. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday that the investigations had been completed against former provincial law minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar and a reference would be filed against him after getting approval from the competent authority. — Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday that the investigations had been completed against former provincial law minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar and a reference would be filed against him after getting approval from the competent authority.

Mr Lanjar, who has recently been elected vice chairman of the Sindh Bar Council, had approached the SHC in 2017 seeking bail after the National Accountability Bureau had ordered an inquiry regarding his alleged involvement in corrupt practices and amassing wealth beyond his known means of income.

When the case came up for hearing before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, a NAB prosecutor informed the bench that the investigations had been completed and the petitioner was allegedly found involved in misusing official authority and embezzlement of public funds.

The prosecutor submitted that the former minister embezzled public funds including the funds allocated for a medical college and allegedly deposited the same in bank accounts through his frontman.

PA speaker’s family booked in a graft case have fled abroad, NAB tells court

He said that the reference had been sent to the NAB chairman for approval and it would be filed in court after his approval.

The bench directed NAB to file a report till Aug 22 about submission of the reference.

PA speaker’s bail plea to be heard on Aug 7

The same bench on Tuesday fixed Aug 7 as the date for hearing arguments on the bail application of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.

NAB had arrested the provincial assembly speaker in February in a hotel in Islamabad for investigations. Later, it filed a reference against him, his brother Agha Masihuddin Khan and other family members, including his wife, sons and daughters, as well as 13 others before an accountability court in Karachi.

The speaker, through his lawyer, had moved the SHC for bail while the brother of the applicant and some other suspects also approached the SHC to seek interim pre-arrest bail.

On Tuesday, a NAB prosecutor submitted that the family members of Mr Durrani had fled the country, maintaining that NAB had already filed a reference after collecting sufficient evidence to prove the allegations.

The lawyer for the applicant argued that his client had been in prison for over four months and requested for urgent hearing of the bail application.

The bench observed that the immediate hearing of the bail plea was not possible due to summer vacations in courts and fixed the matter for Aug 7.

NAB had arrested the provincial assembly speaker to interrogate him for allegedly accumulating movable and immovable assets beyond his known source of income, making 352 illegal appointments, embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the MPA Hostel and the new Sindh Assembly building as well as appointment of project directors for those projects.

In May, NAB had filed a reference against him and others and alleged that he accumulated assets worth over Rs1.61 billion through illegal means.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2019