ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad court on Monday sentenced a former auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) to one year in rigorous imprisonment for concealing his Canadian citizenship.
The Senior Civil Judge in District West, Muhammad Shabbir, convicted former AGP Akhtar Buland Rana for hiding his dual citizenship and sentenced him. The court also imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on him. Following the announcement of judgment, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Anti-Corruption Circle Inspector Afzal Khan Niazi and other officials took the former AGP into custody at the court and later handed him over to authorities at the Adiala Jail.
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Rana had been on post-arrest bail since December 2015.
On Monday, the defence and prosecution presented final arguments in the case. Subsequently, the court convicted Rana after finding him guilty of concealing his Canadian nationality.
In his order, Judge Shabbir stated that “Rana is convicted under the Passport Act, 1974 for concealing his Canadian nationality”, for a period of six months in rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs100,000. In default of payment, the convict will have to undergo an imprisonment of two months.
Moreover, the court sentenced Rana to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and ordered him to pay a fine of Rs100,000. He will have to stay behind the bars for two months in the case of nonpayment. Both sentences, the order said, would run consecutively.
Niazi told The Express Tribune that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had removed Rana after 20 allegations were levelled against him. However, only one allegation pertaining to the Canadian citizenship was transferred to the FIA while the remaining of the allegations were being probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
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In May 2015, the federal government had sacked Rana after the SJC found him guilty of misconduct. His case was the first time that a complaint had been filed in the SJC seeking the disqualification of an AGP, while it was the second time that the council gave its opinion to the president on any reference filed under Article 209 of the Constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2017.