Corruption cases: NAB, Sharjeel Memon at loggerheads over bail plea

Published: November 7, 2016
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KARACHI: After self-exiled Pakistan People’s Party leader Sharjeel Inam Memon managed to obtain protective bail in two corruption cases, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched an investigation against him into yet another complaint regarding illegal allotment of forest land in Hyderabad.

The bail was granted by a two-judge bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, which was hearing bail plea filed by the former provincial information minister on Monday.

Filing a reply to Memon’s petition, NAB authorities maintained that the petitioner was not being victimised on political or any other grounds. Therefore, they rejected the allegations leveled by the petitioner as baseless.

The authorities disclosed that NAB had received yet another complaint against the petitioner about leasing forest land in district Hyderabad, adding that the allegations are currently being investigated.

SHC grants Sharjeel Memon protective bail

Regarding other inquiries, the bureau alleged that the petitioner had played an active role in corruption during his tenure as provincial information minister. They added that the information department had released Rs5.77 billion for an advertising campaign run in the media from July, 2013 to June, 2015. However, Memon had the projects awarded to those advertising companies that were not qualified under the public procurement laws. They claimed that three of those companies are ready to voluntarily cooperate in the investigation. That is the reason those companies have not been named as accused in the reference into the scam, the reply said.

It was further alleged that Memon in his capacity as information minister had misused his powers in connivance with other officials and caused losses worth Rs3 billion to the national exchequer. He is also named as an accused in another reference relating to the allotment of land to a private builder in connivance with the Malir Development Authority.

The national anti-corruption watchdog argued that the petitioner is not entitled to bail, as none of his fundamental rights have been violated during the course of the inquiries. Therefore, the court was pleaded to dismiss the bail plea.

On the other hand, the former minister’s lawyer pleaded to the court to dispose of the petition by directing the NAB to not harass his client.

The bench fixed the matter on December 2 and directed Memon’s lawyer to argue on the maintainability of the petition.

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