Corruption charges: Second reference filed against Dr Asim in nine days

NAB claims the ex-minister and others cost exchequer Rs17b

Our Correspondent March 06, 2016
NAB claims the ex-minister and others cost exchequer Rs17b. PHOTO: INP/FILE

KARACHI: The top anti-graft watchdog submitted on Saturday a second reference in nine days against Dr Asim Hussain in connection with a multibillion-rupee corruption case.

In the reference that deals with an amount less than 4% of the preceding one, the National Accountability Bureau claims Dr Asim and current and former top officials of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL)  colluded to cause losses to the national exchequer.

The accused are said to have misused their authority to illegally award contracts of five gas fields to the privately-managed Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL).

The suspects are believed to have fraudulently allowed the JJVL to process gas at Badin, Bobi, Sinjhoro, Naimat Basal and Kunar Pasakhi Deep gas fields without conducting an open auction, signing agreements and memorandums of understanding as required by the law. Thus, a loss of Rs17.338 billion was inflicted upon the public, investigation officer Zameer Abbasi told the court.

The former minister was not present in the court because of poor health. However, the administrative judge of accountability courts in Karachi, Saad Qureshi, accepted the charge sheet and adjourned the hearing until March 9.

Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing a terror facilitation case against Dr Asim adjourned its hearing until March 22 because the accused was not present in the court owing to the same reason.

The ATC judge directed the IO to detain former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Anis Kaimkhani, who has been declared absconder in the case, and present him in court in the next hearing. The court also issued arrest warrants against MQM’s Saleem Shahzad and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Qadir Patel. Kaimkhani did not seem perturbed by the news and said he would seek legal help.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2016.


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