LG secretary, others held after SHC rejects bail pleas

Published August 25, 2020
NAB personnel arrested Roshan Ali Shaikh on the premises of the SHC after he spent around five hours in the courtroom following the dismissal of his bail. — Photo courtesy The Daily Times
NAB personnel arrested Roshan Ali Shaikh on the premises of the SHC after he spent around five hours in the courtroom following the dismissal of his bail. — Photo courtesy The Daily Times

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau on Monday arrested provincial secretary of local government Roshan Ali Shaikh and two former officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation after the Sindh High Court dismissed their pre-arrest bail applications in a reference of illegal allotment of land.

The two-judge bench comprising Justice K.K. Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi turned down the pre-arrest bail of the LG secretary, former administrator of Karachi Fazal-ur-Rehman, then director of land (KMC) Mohammad Waseem, then deputy director Sohail Yar Khan and four others. They had been on interim bail since 2018.

The bench granted post-arrest bail to former Karachi commissioner Shoukat Hussain Jokhio, former director of land Saif Abbas and another accused against a surety bond of Rs2 million each and directed the secretary of the ministry of interior to place their names on the exit control list.

NAB personnel arrested Roshan Ali Shaikh on the premises of the SHC after he spent around five hours in the courtroom following the dismissal of his bail while Fazal-ur-Rehman and Waseem were also apprehend by NAB.

The bench in its order observed that as per the record, the land in question was allotted to the KMC in 1960 for utilisation/shifting of wool-washing tanneries from Lyari and on payment of malkhana, but it was not properly leased nor malkhana was paid and the land was resumed by the government of Sindh in 1993 and, thereafter, the KMC was not entitled to lease it out.

It further said that the bench also carefully examined the relevant section of the Colonization of Government Land Act, 2009 and was of the view that the same was fully attracted in the present case since the amount of malkhana had not been paid by the KMC and thus the land automatically resumed under the act.

“The act of petitioners seeking pre-arrest bail by taking efforts for de-facto approval of the land was a misuse of their authority and was based on mala fides resulted in a huge loss to the national exchequer,” it added.

The bench further ruled that it had not found any mala-fide intention on the part of NAB officials and it was a settled law that pre-arrest bail was an extraordinary relief and was only available in cases where there had been mala fide on the part of the complainant or the investigating agency.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2020

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