HYDERABAD: Accountability Court-I Hyderabad’s Incharge Judge Naseem Akhtar on Thursday rejected the bail applications of businessman Iqbal Z. Ahmed, his two sons and three other co-accused in a graft case.
They were represented by Farooq H. Naek while Jangu Khan appeared as the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) prosecutor to oppose the bail applications.
According to the bail order, Iqbal Z Ahmed, Fasihuddin Ahmed, Raziuddin Ahmed, Asim Iftikhar, Qazi Humyun Fareed and Salamat Ali had maliciously declared sale of the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) and Lub Gas Pvt Ltd as Rs72bn with sheer intention to cover up injection of black money into corporate bank accounts of the JJVL, Lub Gas and others.
Sole business of the JJVL was based on LPG and NGL regarding extraction from gasses supplied by the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited/government exchequer. The NAB reference said the SSGCL supplied LPG worth Rs22.88bn and contrary to that the JJVL declared its sale as Rs43.43bn, which was 200pc more than actual sales or the LPG received. The record of sales tax return submitted by the JJVL revealed total sale worth Rs35bn.
It transpired during that investigation that the JJVL supplied 347,625.565 tonnes out of 614,285 tonnes of the LPG to its five companies which was 57pc of the total LPG sale declared to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and value of 57pc sale was Rs21.79bn. If this figure was extrapolated to 100pc, this came to Rs38bn which again was lower than the self-declared figures of Rs72bn and deposited into top eight bank accounts and the same was withdrawn with the signature of Iqbal Z Ahmed.
Analysis of the accounts showed deposits included loan facility of Rs24.45bn, intra accounts and companies transferred Rs35bn, transferred from Lub, PPRL, Star Power and transferred from the accused each namely, Fasihuddin Ahmed, Raziuddin Ahmed, Asim Iftikhar and Salamat Ali was as Rs25.95bn and cash of Rs1.289bn hence total was Rs157.76bn, thus difference of Rs16.54bn was identified. The accused through corrupt practices and money laundering — as defined in Section 9(a) of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 —laundered worth more than Rs28bn.
The defence counsel argued that Iqbal Z Ahmed and Salamat Ali obtained post arrest bail and other accused pre-arrest bail from the Sindh High Court on March 31,2020, and then they were appearing before the trial court and charge was framed against them.
He argued that the accused moved application for the return of sureties in the bail, which was returned by the court while recalling the bail order. He said the court recalled bail because surety was withdrawn, but the merit, on which the bail was allowed, was not set aside, hence accused were entitled for the concession of bail.
While opposing the bail, Jangu Khan said the bail was recalled by the high court on Aug 8,2023 and the accused didn’t appear before the court for the restoration of the bail with fresh sureties nor challenged the order. The court said it was settled law that fresh ground for consideration of bail must be mentioned in the second application, but it was not mentioned or agitated and since there was no fresh ground in the application, the accused didn’t make a case for grant of post arrest bail, thus it was dismissed.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2023