KARACHI: An accountability court on Saturday sentenced Pakistan Peoples Party leader Dr Nisar Ahmed Jan Memon, alias Nisar Morai, and three others, to seven years in prison each in a case pertaining to illegal appointments in the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS).
FCS former chairman Memon, former vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui, former contractor Imran Afzal and former audit manager Shaukat Hussain along with 12 others, including the incumbent and former FCS officials as well as contractors, had been charged with misusing their authority, embezzlement of funds, illegal appointments and awarding fake contracts during 2014-15.
The Accountability Court-I Judge, Abdul Ghani Soomro, pronounced his judgement reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.
The judge noted that the prosecution successfully proved the allegations against the accused persons.
Therefore, he awarded seven years in prison each to the FCS ex-chairman Memon, ex-vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui, ex-contractor Imran Afzal and ex-audit manager Shaukat Hussain.
They have been convicted of making illegal appointments
The judge also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on each of the convicts.
However, the court acquitted a dozen other accused persons as the prosecution failed to prove the charges against them.
The court had reserved the decision on a previous hearing after concluding the trial spanning over three years during which testimonies of around 32 prosecution witnesses had been recorded.
In May 2018, the court indicted 16 accused persons for misusing their authority, embezzlement of funds, illegal appointments and awarding fake contracts during 2014-15.
According to the National Accountability Bureau, the accused persons had caused a loss of Rs343 million to the national exchequer by inducting their relatives and others in the FCS violating the recruitment rules.
It further mentioned that Memon joined FCS as a director in 2013 and within a year became its chairman while he was already holding a public office as a medical officer in the Sindh health department and continued to draw salary in this capacity till 2015.
The prosecution further mentioned that Memon had allegedly made 343 illegal appointments in the FCS against the due process and misappropriated funds. Siddiqui was accused of getting his father-in-law, brother-in-law and other relatives appointed in the society.
Both Siddiqui and Memon were picked up by the Rangers in 2015 and 2016 respectively, after which they were detained for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Siddiqui was also charged with facilitating the attack on the Ismaili community in Safoora Goth in which 46 people were killed. Later, a military court acquitted him in the case.
Memon was charged with the murder of chairman of the Pakistan Steel Mills Sajjad Hussain. Later, he was granted bail and the case is still pending before a sessions’ court.
Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2021