KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities have failed to locate and attach the properties owned by former minister Babar Ghauri for around two years after the court declared him a proclaimed offender in a case pertaining to illegal jobs’ regularization in the Karachi Port Trust (KPT).
Mr Ghauri, then a leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, along with then KPT chairmen Javed Hanif, Rauf Akhtar Farooqui and others, has been charged with illegal regularisation of 940 employees of the KPT.
When the matter was recently taken up before Accountability Court-II judge Aaliya Latif Unnar, an investigating officer (IO) of the NAB appeared and requested for more time to submit a report regarding completion of the process of attachment of the properties owned by the former minister, as ordered by the court under Section 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Allowing the request, the judge directed the IO to furnish such report by the next date of hearing and adjourned the matter.
Seeks time from accountability court to locate and attach the assets
Six accused, including a sitting legislator belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Javed Hanif Khan, have already been indicted in the case.
The court had separated the matter against Babar Ghauri and ordered the IO to initiate the proceedings of proclamation and attachment of his properties.
In October 2019, the judicial and prosecution officials said the court had declared Babar Ghauri a proclaimed offender after the IO had submitted a report stating that there was no likelihood of arrest of the former minister in the near future since he had probably gone into hiding to avoid arrest.
Accepting his report, the court had declared Mr Ghauri a proclaimed offender.
In the meanwhile, the court had also directed the NAB’s IO to furnish a report regarding completion of the process of attachment of his properties, if any owned by him, as required under the law.
“The court had ordered attachment of his properties in October 2019,” the judicial staffers said, requesting anonymity. “However, on each hearing the IO is required to submit a report regarding compliance with the court’s directives, but every time the IO requests for more time to comply with the directives,” they added.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021