NAB granted time to complete inquiry against PPP leader

Dost Muhammad Rahimon is accused of corruption in the distribution of relief goods in Thar


Our Correspondent November 18, 2017
The PPP leader is accused of alleged corruption in the distribution of relief items for the drought affected families in Thar district.PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) allowed on Friday time to the federal anti-graft watchdog to complete an inquiry against Dost Muhammad Rahimon, a former adviser to the provincial chief minister, in a case relating to alleged corruption in the distribution of relief items for the drought affected families in Thar district.

Headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, a two-judge bench directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor to submit a progress report into the inquiry by December 5.

Rahimon, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and former elected member of the Sindh Assembly from PS-63 Tharparkar constituency, had moved the court, accusing NAB of harassment. The petitioner had stated that the anti-graft watchdog was harassing him in connection with an inquiry into alleged financial irregularities in relief items for drought-affected families in Tharparkar district. Denying the allegations, the PPP leader had apprehended his arrest and sought bail to avoid his arrest by NAB.

During Friday's proceedings, the NAB prosecutor disclosed that the provincial government had announced a relief and rehabilitation project after the deaths of multiple children in the desert region, which was hit by the drought.

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Under the rehabilitation programme, the government announced that free wheat and flour would be provided to the affected families, the prosecutor added.

However, it was alleged that the funds meant for the Thar relief and rehabilitation programme were embezzled or misappropriated through corrupt practices. It resulted in losses worth millions of rupees to the national exchequer, the prosecutor alleged.

The anti-graft watchdog's prosecutor disclosed that an inquiry against 'influential persons' had been initiated over corruption in the rehabilitation funds. The court was pleaded to allow time to the investigators to complete the inquiry.

Allowing request, the SHC bench directed the prosecutor to submit a progress report by December 5, when the matter will be taken up again.

Malir riverbed encroachment

The same bench, meanwhile, directed the NAB prosecutor to submit a report regarding progress in the inquiry against the former land utilisation secretary, Ghulam Mustafa Phul, and others regarding alleged illegal allotment of 400 acres of land in the Malir riverbed.

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Phul and the co-accused had moved the court, accusing NAB of harassment and seeking bail in connection with inquiry into the alleged illegal land allotment.

Submitting the progress report, the NAB prosecutor said they had ample evidence regarding the involvement of the former secretary and others in the illegal allotment of the riverbed's land. The prosecutor said the inquiry was in its final stages, adding that a summary had been forwarded to the NAB chairperson for approval to convert the inquiry into an investigation.

Allowing time, the bench directed the prosecutor to submit a progress report in this regard by December 8.

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