KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday granted two-week time to a special public prosecutor so that he could inform the court about a decision regarding filing of a corruption reference against former provincial minister Jam Khan Shoro and others.
A two-judge bench comprising SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Justice Omar Sial was hearing a petition filed by the former PPP minister against alleged harassment by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Mr Shoro, who is already facing three inquiries, had submitted in the petition that he owned a CNG station in Hyderabad and NAB had issued a call-up notice about the status of land on which the fuel station was established.
He maintained that the land in question belonged to him and alleged that NAB was “pressuring” the department concerned to declare it as state land.
The SHC orders NAB to not act against a senior KMC officer in any manner contrary to law
The lawyer for the former minister had argued that the petitioner was being harassed by NAB due to his political affiliation and had pleaded for a restraining order.
On Wednesday, a NAB prosecutor submitted that sufficient evidence was available against the petitioner, adding that a summary had been sent to the competent authority ie NAB chairman seeking his approval for filing of a reference against him.
The prosecutor asked the court to grant him two weeks to enable him to apprise the court about the decision on the summary.
Allowing the request, the bench granted two-week time to NAB authorities in this regard and adjourned the hearing till April 2.
Earlier, the SHC had also granted interim bail to Mr Shoro in three inquiries being conducted by NAB including an alleged illegal auction of 62 plots in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and taking bribes through his alleged frontman.
KMC officer’s plea disposed of
The same bench, meanwhile, disposed of a petition filed by a senior officer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation against alleged harassment by NAB authorities and seeking pre-arrest bail in connection with an inquiry into alleged corruption.
Counsel for petitioner M. Masood Alam submitted that his client was stopped by the Federal Investigation Agency from travelling abroad in November 2019 on the pretext that his name was placed on the Exit Control List.
It was further submitted that later the petitioner came to know through the media that an inquiry was initiated against him pertaining to procurement of fire engines for the KMC and for allegedly causing a loss to the exchequer by filing fake maintenance bills.
On Wednesday, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that Mr Alam had to travel to Canada and pleaded to the court to grant him pre-arrest bail since he apprehended arrest.
However, the bench observed that no case was made out for the relief of granting an interim bail to the petitioner since no reference had been filed by NAB into the alleged inquiry so far.
Disposing of the plea, the bench asked the NAB authorities to not act against the petitioner in any manner contrary to the law.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2020