NAB to shut illegal land allotment probe against Qaim, SHC told

Updated 04 Sep 2019


Shah had obtained interim pre-arrest bail after NAB issued a call-up notice to him in December. — AFP/File
Shah had obtained interim pre-arrest bail after NAB issued a call-up notice to him in December. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday informed the Sindh High Court that a recommendation had been made to close an inquiry against former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in an illegal land allotment case.

Mr Shah had obtained interim pre-arrest bail after NAB issued a call-up notice to him in December regarding alleged illegal allotment of land in the Malir riverbed during his tenure as chief minister.

When the matter came up for hearing before a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh on Tuesday, a NAB prosecutor informed the bench that the petitioner was no longer required for a probe since investigators had recommended to the competent authority to close the inquiry.

The prosecutor further submitted that the allotment in question was later cancelled.

Thereafter, the bench disposed of the petition and issued directive to return the surety amount.

The lawyer for the petitioner, Barrister Zameer Ghumro, submitted that since the allotment of land in question was cancelled by the former chief minister no loss was caused to the national kitty and the offence was not made out.

NAB had issued a call-up notice to former chief minister, then land utilization secretary Ghulam Mustafa Phull, then deputy commissioner-Korangi Kazi Jan Mohammad and others on Dec 18, 2018 for alleged illegal allotment of land to six allottees within the Malir riverbed in Korangi district in 2011-12.

The allotment was prima facie against the Sindh Land Grant Policy 2006 and done at a price lower than the realistic market value, NAB alleged in the notice. It maintained that the petitioner was the chief minister at that time and approved the summaries of allotment of land within the riverbed/delta area for which there was no law.

Notices issued on plea for offal disposal

Another division bench of the SHC on Tuesday issued notices to the Sindh chief secretary and others on a petition seeking regulations for slaughtering of sacrificial animals and proper disposal of their offal.

The bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, put federal secretary of the national health services, chief secretary, local government secretary, Karachi mayor and cantonment board Karachi on notice directing them to file comments on the next date.

Jazib Aftab and others moved the SHC stating that they filed the petition due to unhealthy and unhygienic atmosphere created in the province after Eidul Azha on account of unregulated and unorganised slaughter of animals on roads, footpaths, residential areas and other public spaces.

They argued that such practices had caused various diseases and the respondents failed to implement adequate steps to ensure public safety and proper disposal of offal and waste material.

They sought directives for respondents to make effective rules for slaughtering of sacrificial animals, ensure adequate measures for healthy environment and proper disposal of offal and waste material.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2019