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PESHAWAR, May 8: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed the anti-corruption establishment to probe illegal allotment of seized vehicles to influential persons by the excise and taxation department and to register case against the responsible officials.

A two-member bench comprising the Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Ms Musarrat Hilali ordered the director anti-corruption establishment (ACE) to appoint team of expert investigators to extensively probe into the matter and also to assess loss incurred to the exchequer.

The bench ruled that in an illegal manner few years ago a policy was framed for allotment of seized vehicles on superdari (temporary possession) which was in violation to the Seizure and Disposal of Motor Vehicles Rules 1999, following which luxurious vehicles were handed over to influential persons including politicians and bureaucrats.

The bench directed the director ACE to ascertain who had made the said policy and later on which of the officials had ordered giving of vehicles to influential persons. It was ordered that beside proceedings against said allottees under relevant penal provisions of anti-corruption laws, loss sustained to the exchequer be recovered and after collecting evidence case should be registered and charge sheet should be submitted before the special anti corruption court.

The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the handing over of luxurious vehicles to influential persons on superdari and had ordered the excise department last year to recover all the vehicles. These vehicles were seized by the excise and taxation department from time to time on account of different charges.

Advocate Gohar Rehman Khattak, representing the excise department, contended that on the order of the court they had retrieved almost all the 65 vehicles given to different influential persons.

During previous hearing the court had issued show cause notice to the director general excise, Arshid Khan, after an excise and taxation officer (ETO) Jehandad Khan alleged that he had been victimised by him as he was recovering vehicles on the order of the court.

Barrister Waqar Ahmad Khan, appearing for Arshid Khan, contended that the ETO had given misstatement during previous hearing. He stated that the vehicle in question was given to the driver by the ETO himself and for that reason he was issued show cause notice by the DG.

He added that to settle that score he levelled frivolous allegations against the DG. Furthermore, he stated that during previous hearing the ETO had submitted a forged notification regarding his transfer. —Bureau Report