Coal sale issue: NAB to file comments in alleged fraud case

No reference has been filed against former HCCI chairperson yet

Our Correspondent October 29, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought comments from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding the alleged involvement of the former chairperson of the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) in the Rs2.1 billion alleged fraud in the sale of coal in the Lakhra Coal Mines.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, directed on Friday the NAB prosecutor to file such a report by November 2.

Last month, NAB said former chairperson Goharullah was issued a lease to set up a power plant but instead he sold the coal worth Rs2.1 billion through criminal conspiracy and connivance with other accused, including Sohail Akbar Shah, the former principal secretary to the Sindh chief minister.

On Friday, Barrister Farogh Naseem argued that the petitioner had nothing to do with the scam and yet had been kept in jail for the last 70 days, which is a violation of the law.

The lawyer claimed the NAB had taken his client into custody over false allegations. He argued that no reference had so far been filed against Goharullah and pleaded to the court to grant bail to his client.

On the other hand, the NAB prosecutor opposed the bail plea, arguing that the bureau was going to file a corruption reference against the petitioner "soon". Claiming that they have concrete evidence available to establish his involvement in the scam, the prosecutor pleaded to the court to dismiss the plea.

The bench directed the prosecutor to submit a reply regarding the corruption reference at the next hearing, fixed for November 2.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2016.


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