KARACHI: An accountability court on Monday further extended the physical remand of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain for ten days over his alleged role in illegal appointments and award of contracts in the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).
The NAB had obtained custody of Dr Asim on December 11 in connection with an inquiry regarding misuse of authority in allotment of plots and encroachment of state land for Dr Ziauddin Hospital Trust, fraud with public by running a charity hospital on commercial basis, kickbacks and commission through fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment and money-laundering.
While prosecution requested for an extension of 14 days, Dr Asim’s lawyer opposed the request stating that 145 days have passed but the prosecution has not been able to prove anything against his client and that Dr Asim’s medical health is deteriorating as cited in a medical report submitted previously.
Administrative Judge Saad Qureshi extended Dr Asim’s physical remand till January 27 and directed relevant authorities to take the accused to a psychiatrist and if recommended, he should be shifted to a hospital.
On January 5, the court extended the physical remand of the former federal minister by two weeks.
Dr Asim, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission and a friend of former president Asif Ali Zardari, is facing charges of abetting and harbouring terrorists at his family-owned hospitals in Karachi.
After spending 90 days in the custody of paramilitary Rangers, who detained him on August 26, he was handed over to the Karachi police for further interrogation. The police, however, relieved him of the charges and got him released, sparking a tussle between the federal and provincial governments.