KARACHI: Nearly 600 serving and retired government officials, including a former chief secretary and an ex-inspector general of police of Sindh, are facing trials in 108 corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau in the province, it emerged on Saturday.
Former CS Mohammad Siddiq Memon and ex-IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali are among the accused persons being tried by the accountability courts of the province.
According to a report compiled by NAB-Sindh on a court order, 108 references against more than 580 accused persons are pending before various accountability courts.
The report stated that 494 officers posted in different departments of the Sindh government had opted for ‘voluntary return’ of the looted wealth and 41 had entered into plea bargain with NAB in corruption cases.
494 retired and serving officials of provincial govt have voluntarily returned graft money to NAB
The former CS Memon along with then additional secretary Abdul Qadir Memon and some other senior officials of the land utilisation committee has been facing charges in a reference filed in 2018 for alleged illegal allotment and regularisation of six acres for residential and commercial purposes in Sector 52-A, Corridor of Scheme 33, Karachi causing a loss of more than Rs5.5 million to the national exchequer. NAB said that CS Memon was the land utilization secretary when the piece of land was allegedly illegally allotted.
NAB had filed a reference in 2017 against former IGP Jamali, the then AIG (finance) Syed Fida Hussain Shah, ex-AIG (logistics) Tanveer Ahmed Tahir, another former AIG (logistics) Kamran Rashid, ex-AIG Faisal Bashir Memon and around 10 others for alleged illegal appointments by misusing their authority in the Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) in Hyderabad during 2013-14, causing a loss of Rs500m to the exchequer.
Then provincial secretary Badar Jameel Mandhro along with then director Khadim Hussain Channa, deputy director Shamsuddin Sheikh and several other officials has been facing the trial in a reference filed in 2015 over alleged illegal appointments in the minorities affairs department.
Former local government secretary Ali Ahmed Lund and others were booked in a reference filed in 2015 for illegally accumulating moveable and immoveable assets estimated to be around Rs225m.
A reference filed in 2016 is also pending trial against former transport secretary Iqbal Ahmed Baliani and others regarding alleged embezzlement of government funds.
Former land utilization secretary Aftab Ahmed Memon is facing a reference filed in 2016 pertaining to illegal allotment of land.
Abdul Rasheed Solangi, currently posted as the Sindh information secretary, has been accused of alleged illegal excavation of coal from Lakhra, Jamshoro when he was posted as the director general of the mines & mineral department along then director Manzoor Memon in a reference filed in 2016.
Ex-secretary of the labour department Nasar Hayat, former Sindh Worker Welfare Board secretary Syed Matloob Ahmed and others have been booked in a graft reference filed in 2016.
Former land utilization secretary Shahzar Shamoon along with others is facing a corruption reference filed in 2016 about alleged illegal allotment of land in Malir.
Former Board of Revenue official Gul Hasan Channa and former managing director of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board retired Brigadier Iftikhar Haider are facing trial in a 2016 corruption reference.
Former land utilization secretary Ghulam Mustafa Phull, another ex-secretary Abdus Suhban, then DC-Malir Kazi Jan Mohammad and others are facing trial in a reference filed last year regarding alleged illegal allotment of land in Malir.
Mr Phull has also been booked in another reference along with former law secretary Syed Ghulam Nabi Shah about alleged illegal regularisation and restoration of land in favour of some builders.
Ex-secretary of the information department Dr Atta Muhammad Panhwar along with another former secretary Noor Mohammad Leghari, ex-director general (DG) public relations and other are being tried in a reference filed in 2012.
Former Karachi administrator Saqib Soomro, then DG of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) Nasir Abbas, ex-DG Sindh Tourism Development Authority Roshan Ali Kanasro, former DG Sindh Building Control Authority Manzoor Qadir, ex-MDs of the Sindh Small Industries Corporation Mushtaq Ali Leghari and Mehmood Ahmed, former senior member BoR Ghulam Ali Shah Pasha, director of the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) Dr Jawaid Ahmed Rajput, former MD-SITE Lubna Salahuddin, former medical superintendent Mirza Raza Ali and former DSP Jamil Akthar Kiyani are also being tried by the accountability courts of the province.
494 opt for ‘voluntary return’
The report said that 494 officers posted in different departments of the Sindh government have opted for “voluntary return” of the looted money to NAB in corruption cases.
The school education and literacy department tops the list with over 310 officers / employees having entered into the voluntary return scheme.
Over 50 LG officers, around 25 each of irrigation and food departments, around 15 each of finance and works and services departments, several officials of police, provincial roads, finance, public health and forest departments had also opted for VR.
Former health secretary Ashiq Hussain Memon returned Rs25m in 2005 through VR.
41 enter into plea bargain
There are 41 officials of the provincial government, including a former labour secretary and three deputy directors of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation who entered into plea bargain with NAB.
Former labour secretary Nasar Hayat had deposited over Rs18m in 2018 in a case pertaining to acquiring land for the Sindh Workers Welfare Board for constructions of 3,000 flats near Northern Bypass on high rates.
The three KMC officials — Hazoor Bux Kalwar, his wife Shama Khatoon and their son Sajjad Kalwar — had jointly entered into plea bargain in 2004 and returned over Rs160m.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2021