Five acquitted of Rs76 million embezzlement in Peshawar

Published March 20, 2021
NAB arrested five accused on charges of embezzling Rs76 million of the forest royalty funds in Chitral.
NAB arrested five accused on charges of embezzling Rs76 million of the forest royalty funds in Chitral.

PESHAWAR: An accountability court here on Friday acquitted five persons of the charge of embezzling Rs76 million of the forest royalty funds in Chitral.

Judge Naveed Ahmad Khan ruled that as per the evidence available the accused, including ex-councillor Prince Khalid Pervez, ex-sub-divisional forest officer Gulzarur Rehman and three private persons namely Noor Shahideen, Rehmat Karim and Malik Shaye, did not commit the offence.

The National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had arrested the accused in 2015. Later, the Peshawar High Court had granted them bail.

The NAB claimed that according to the findings of an inquiry it had conducted a joint forest management committee was mandated to ensure equal distribution of royalty funds among the royalty holders of Bamburat area of Chitral as per the policy of the forest department.

However, it said one of the suspects, Noor Shahideen, set up a fake joint forest management committee and made himself its chairman through the connivance of other accused, thus embezzling Rs76 million through complex banking transactions.

A panel of lawyers, including Barrister Waqar Ahmad, Qazi Jawad Ehsanullah and Fida Gul, appeared for the defence and stated that prior to the NAB inquiry, cases were registered against their clients and other suspects on the complaints of some local residents, but they were granted bail by court.

The lawyers said subsequently the NAB had assumed the jurisdiction in the case and arrested the accused in an arbitrary manner.

The counsel for the defence argued that the case pertained to a civil dispute among different parties in which the NAB had no jurisdiction to intervene.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Outlawing torture
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

Outlawing torture

Physical or psychological torture is now considered almost a given in police and intelligence investigations.
High-profile case
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

High-profile case

IN a ‘breaking news’ culture, it is not often that such a significant development in a high-profile case can be...
Daska redux?
26 Jun, 2022

Daska redux?

AS the clock ticks down on the by-elections scheduled for next month on recently vacated Punjab Assembly seats,...
Taxing corporates
Updated 25 Jun, 2022

Taxing corporates

The steps taken by the government are reflective of the extremely sorry state of our economic affairs.
Poll security
25 Jun, 2022

Poll security

AS local government elections in Sindh as well as a raft of by-polls for the national and provincial assemblies draw...
Polio concerns
25 Jun, 2022

Polio concerns

THE fact that vaccine-derived poliovirus has been detected in London’s sewage samples for the first time in 40...