KARACHI: No hearing could be held on the bail plea of the Karachi Development Authority's (KDA) former director in a case regarding illegal land allotment to Dr Ziauddin Hospital as one of the two judges declined to hear the matter.
A senior member of the bench, Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, declined to hear the matter, which was subsequently referred to the provincial chief justice for assignment to another bench of which Justice Phulpoto is not a member.
Syed Athar Hussain, a former director of the KDA, had approached the court seeking bail in connection with a Rs462-billion reference prepared by the National Accountability Bureau.
The bureau had named Athar as a 'facilitator' of the corrupt deeds of Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari.
Dr Asim is alleged to have misused his authority and fraudulently obtained plots and even encroached upon government land in order to expand Dr Ziauddin Hospital, committed money laundering and received kickbacks unlawfully.
When the matter was taken up on Friday, Justice Phulpoto, who was hearing the plea, declined to proceed with it. Therefore, the office was directed to place the matter before Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah to assign the same to another bench.
Justice Phulpoto had earlier declined to hear bail applications of Dr Asim twice in the same case and another relating to sheltering and harbouring terrorists allegedly belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and gangs based in Lyari at his private health facilities.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.