KARACHI: An accountability court adjourned on Wednesday the hearing of corruption reference of over Rs5 billion against former information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon and others after he could not make it to the court due to illness.
The hearing was fixed for framing charges on Pakistan Peoples Party leader Memon, former provincial information secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shalwani, his deputy Anita Baloch and over a dozen more for their alleged role in embezzling public money.
At the outset, the court was informed by the counsel of the former minister that his client would not be able to make it to the court as he was in a hospital seeking treatment. He requested the court to grant him one-day exemption from appearing in the hearing.
According to the prosecution, the suspects misappropriated an amount of Rs5.77 billion by paying it to seven advertisement companies under a public awareness campaign between 2013 and 2015. The prosecution had maintained that the payment was made in violation of the Sindh Public Procurement Rules, 2010.
Out of the total payment, Evernew Concepts had received Rs4.15 billion, Orient Communication had received Rs320 million, Adarts Karachi had received Rs317 million, Connect Marketing had received Rs310 million, Value Added Marketing had received Rs206 million, Xnine Communications had received Rs375 million and Insync Advertisement had received Rs84 million.
Other suspects appeared in the court but the judge maintained that the indictment proceedings cannot be carried out since the main accused was not present. The court adjourned the hearing till July 28.