KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought complete details on Thursday of the delayed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiries in Sukkur by March 5. Chief Justice (CJ) Ahmed Ali Sheikh remarked that the NAB officials sit in their offices and do the work instead of visiting the place of incident. The investigation officers were not illegible to conduct investigations, said the CJ.
The division bench, comprising CJ Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Justice Omer Sial, heard the case related to the investigations against 32 contractors and 17 government officials. The CJ said that the condition of all cities in Sindh was getting worse, roads were in deplorable condition, gutters were overflowing and clean drinking water was unavailable.
The investigation officer informed the court that an accused in the education department corruption reference had filed a plea bargain. The court remarked that the officer took back Rs5,000 voluntarily from a person who was involved in the corruption of millions of rupees. “Do Rs5,000 have any worth? Most of the irregularities in NAB are in Sukkur inquiries, which continue for years but the results are zero.”
The court sought complete details of the delayed inquiries in Sukkur after completion of investigations including the case of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, corruption in education department, municipal corporation and other institutions.
The SHC ordered to present the medical certificate of Sarfaraz Merchant, a primary witness, and three others in the money laundering case against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder.
The same bench, hearing the case, inquired the NAB prosecutor about the confirmation that the reference was filed against Merchant. The prosecutor said that the reference had been filed against the aaccused and was under trial in the accountability court while two other accused were at large.
Merchant’s counsel, Advocate Abdur Rehman, said that his client was ill and admitted in the hospital, hence, he couldn’t appear in the court. The court asked the Advocate Rehman to present the medical certificate of Merchant and adjourned the hearing.
Food poisoning case
The SHC sought arguments from deputy attorney-general on Thursday by January 30 over the plea against sealing a private restaurant in Clifton after the death of two children. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Agha Faisal and headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, was hearing the plea in which the petitioner’s counsel argued that the restaurant and its storage came under the jurisdiction of cantonment.
Additional advocate-general argued that the provincial departments could not be restricted to operate in the areas of cantonment because the provincial laws apply to every area of the province. The Cantonments Pure Food Act was contradictory to the Constitutional points.
Restaurant owner’s counsel argued that an agreement had been reached with the parents of the deceased children. Additional advocate-general argued that the agreement may have been made but this case was about sealing the restaurant.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2019.