KARACHI: The administrative judge of the accountability courts on Wednesday came down heavily on the director general of the National Accountability Bureau Karachi region for failure in filing a reference pertaining to alleged illegal disposal of land belonging to the Nehr-i-Khayyam.

The federal watchdog arrested Abbas Ali Agha, the director and partner of the M/s Ocean View Private Limited, on Jan 31 in connection with alleged illegal restoration of 4,000 square yards land belonging to the storm-water drain in Clifton.

The matter had been coming up before the administrative judge Dr Sher Bano Karim for filing of the reference after the expiry of 90 days’ period of investigation after arrest of the suspect.

On the last date, the judge took serious notice of the failure of the NAB authorities in filing the reference and issued a show-cause notice to the NAB Karachi DG to personally appear to furnish an explanation.

On Wednesday, NAB DG Farooq Nasir Awan appeared before the court.

The judge observed that suspect Abbas Ali Agha was in custody for the last seven months but the reference was not being filed under one pretext or the other.

She further observed that earlier the investigating officer had informed the court that the NAB chairman had signed the reference and the same would be filed soon, but it had not been done.

DG Awan informed that a message was received from the NAB chairman’s office through fax regarding signing of the reference.

As the judge asked him to produce the purported fax message, Mr Awan said he also received verbal instructions from the chairman regarding transfer of the case to Islamabad.

The visibly irked judge directed DG Awan to ensure that the reference was filed with the court in the matter and fixed the matter on July 18.

Earlier, the bureau claimed that Mr Agha was wanted in an investigation against Manzoor Qadir, alias Kaka, a former director general of the Sindh Building Control Authority, pertaining to Nehr-i-Khayyam plot.

It had alleged that the detained suspect, with the connivance of Manzoor Kaka, got illegally restored a 4,000 sq-yards plot situated at the storm-water drain in Block-5 of the Clifton area.

It further alleged that the plot’s market value was estimated at more than Rs2 billion and Agha, along with other directors, was illegal beneficiary of the said plot, which he sold to another party.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019

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