KARACHI: Expressing dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities on action against their officials involved in kidnapping a citizen for ransom, the Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Thursday the additional inspector-general of police to ensure that the victim’s statement was recorded and that an FIR is registered if a cognisable offence was committed.
A two-judge bench, headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, also directed the Sindh inspector-general of police to personally look into the matter and submit a report on the investigation by December 22.
In the meantime, the court also directed the NAB director-general to file a report regarding the inquiry initiated against the officials concerned by the next date of the hearing.
The judges were hearing a petition filed by Sikandar Ali Abro, who had approached the court seeking action and registration of a case regarding his kidnapping for ransom against NAB officials.
The petitioner informed the court that he was working as a district accounts officer in Hyderabad. He said the NAB officials, including Sarwej Sheikh and Chaudhry Bilal among others, had summoned him at their residence at midnight in connection with some inquiry reportedly initiated against him.
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The petitioner alleged that later these officials kidnapped him and directed his family to pay Rs10 million ransom for his safe recovery. The NAB officials summoned his family members with the ransom money, but later fled.
Abro complained that an application was filed at the concerned police station, but the police officials refused to entertain his plea to register a case against the NAB officials.
Therefore, he pleaded to the court to order the police chief and others take action against the NAB officials involved in his kidnapping for ransom. A direction was also sought for the police high-ups to register a criminal case against them.
During Thursday's proceedings, a special prosecutor for NAB informed the court that all the officials accused of kidnapping Abro and demanding ransom for his release had been put under suspension and further inquiry against them was under way.
CJ Sheikh expressed dissatisfaction over the action initiated by the NAB high-ups, questioning how the NAB authorities could themselves initiate an inquiry against their own subordinates, who were facing criminal allegations of such a serious nature.
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The chief justice directed the AIG to ensure a senior of good repute was deputed to visit the NAB headquarters and record Abro’s statement. "If any cognisable offence is made out, an FIR against the NAB officials responsible should be registered strictly in accordance with the law,” the CJ further ordered.
The bench also directed the Sindh IG to personally look into the matter and submit a report on progress in the investigation. In the meantime, the top judge also directed the NAB DG to submit a report on the inquiry initiated against the NAB officials. All of them were told to furnish their reports by December 22.
While hearing another case, CJ Sheikh remarked that negligence on the part of the anti-graft watchdog authorities in corruption-related inquiries will not be tolerated at any cost.
He directed the NAB investigators to submit a report regarding finalisation of another reference against senior police officer DIG Bashir Memon and others regarding alleged corruption in the procurement of uniforms, distribution of feeding charges and vehicles maintenance.
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The investigators revealed that a new inquiry regarding corruption in uniform procurement and distribution of feeding charges had been completed against the DIG Memon and others. A summary seeking approval to file a reference with the accountability court against these officers has been sent to the competent authority for approval, they added.
They maintained that the reference will be filed once the summary is approved.
NAB had already completed two separate inquiries against DIG Memon and others regarding alleged illegal appointments in the Sindh Reserve Police, misappropriation of funds meant for fuel and investigations.
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