KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday granted interim pre-arrest bail to two sons and an alleged frontman of detained leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Syed Khursheed Shah in an inquiry pertaining to assets beyond known sources of income.

Syed Zeerak Shah and Syed Farukh Ahmed Shah, sons of the PPP leader, and his alleged frontman Syed Qasim Ali Shah through their counsel moved the SHC and submitted that they came to know through media that the National Accountability Bureau, Sukkur, has been conducting an inquiry against the PPP leader and his family, adding that NAB had arrested Khursheed Shah a couple of days ago.

The petitioners further argued that NAB had issued a notice on Aug 27 to the chief commissioner, Regional Tax Office, Sukkur, to provide copies of documents of the arrested PPP leader and his family members.

Impleading the NAB chairman, NAB Sindh director general and NAB Sukkur deputy director as respondents, they contended that NAB had never issued them call-up notices and intended to arrest them without serving a notice.

The petitioners asserted that they had no hidden source of income and they were also willing to join the investigation.

However, they alleged that the anti-graft watchdog with mala fide intentions wanted to arrest the petitioners as part of “political victimisation”. They pleaded to declare the inquiry illegal and also sought pre-arrest bail.

A two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh in its order observed that without dilating upon the merits of the case, interim pre-arrest bail was granted to the petitioners subject to a solvent surety of Rs500,000 each till Oct 16.

While issuing notices to the respondents and NAB prosecutor for next hearing, the bench also directed the petitioners to appear before the investigating officer and join the inquiry.

Meanwhile, the same bench on Friday also granted interim bail to the chief executive officer of Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) Fasih Ahmed in an alleged money laundering case till Oct 23.

The petitioner, a son of Iqbal Z. Ahmed, the chairman of M/S Associated Group, JJVL, Lube Gas Ltd and others, through his lawyer moved the court and contended that on Sept 11, NAB issued a notice asking him that he was in possession of record of these companies allegedly involved in money laundering.

The petitioner expressed the apprehension that he might be arrested and pleaded for pre-arrest bail. The bench granted him interim bail against a surety bond of Rs500,000 till Oct 23 and asked him to join the investigation.

Iqbal Z. Ahmed is already in NAB custody on physical remand in connection with in an investigation into alleged money laundering of billions of rupees.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019

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