KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday extended the interim bail of former local government minister Jam Khan Shoro and others till the 14th March in a corruption case.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh heard the bail plea filed by former minister and extended the interim bail.
Meanwhile, the bench summoned Director General (DG) Karachi Development Authority (KDA) along with the relevant records relating to the illegal allotment of the land on the next hearing.
The accused in the case appeared before the court, where they said that they had returned the lands. The Chief Justice asked them to submit testimony if they had returned the land.
The NAB prosecutor told the court that one inquiry had been completed against the former minister. According to officials of NAB, the former minister is facing inquiries in three different cases.
SHC extends bail of former local govt minister
One of the cases against the former provincial local government minister includes illegal allotment of 62 government plots in Karachi's Gulistan-e-Jauhar area. Former Director General of KDA Nasir Abbas has also been arrested in the same case. The NAB said illegal allotment of plots cost the national exchequer Rs180 million.
The minister is also facing charges of encroaching upon 262 acres of land in Thatta and setting up of a petrol station on a land of a water hydrant in Hyderabad's Qasimabad area.
Shoro is currently the MPA from PS-62 Hyderabad-I elected on the Pakistan People's Party ticket. A probe against him was launched by the accountability watchdog in October last year.
Power of attorney
A division bench of the Sindh High Court on Friday directed the brother of Gulzar Ahmed, an accused in the corruption case against Agha Siraj Durrani, to file his power of attorney within four days.
Gulzar Ahmad, through his brother, had approached the SHC for his pre-arrest bail. Headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Justice Umar Siyal, the bench asked the lawyer, "Where is your client?" Lawyer for Gulzar Ahmed said that his client was in the US and came to know about the investigations against him through media. "My client wants to come back to Pakistan but fears arrest. Court must accept protective bail in the absence of my client," the lawyer said.
Chief Justice asked who had the power of attorney from. The lawyer said that the accused had made his brother the attorney. Chief Justice remarked that the power of attorney was not in the case file. Gulzar Ahmed's lawyer requested for time to submit the power of attorney. Court ordered Gulzar Ahmed's brother to submit the power of attorney within four days, after which the court would hear the request for protective bail.
The same bench, while hearing the bail plea of former information secretary Sindh Zulfiqar Shalwani, accused in 5.76 billion rupees corruption reference, sought a progress report from the trial court.
Former LG minister gets bail extension
Expressing its irritation over the non-submission of the report, the bench directed that the report should be submitted by March 29.
According to the NAB prosecutor, 10 witnesses have already recorded statements against the accused.
Zulfiqar Shalwani, in his plea, maintained that he was in jail since the past few months, and should be granted bail.
The SHC on Friday annulled the sentences awarded by the trail court to two accused in an extortion case.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpotto and Justice K K Agha accepted the appeal filed by accused Fareed and Shahab against their conviction and ordered their release if they were not required in any other case.
According to the prosecution, Fareed and Shahab took five million rupees from Usman Ghani in 2008. An anti-terrorism court had sentenced the accused to 10-years imprisonment each.
Indian films, dramas
Another bench of SHC comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Agha Faisal gave more time to the federal government, information ministry and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to file comments on a plea challenging the airing of Indian films and dramas.
Annoyed over the absence of PEMRA lawyer, Justice Mazhar remarked, "These people don't appear until warrants are issued; issue warrant right now and they will be here."
The court directed to send notice on PEMRA Karachi's address. Giving time to the federal government, information ministry and PEMRA, the court summoned them with replies on March 15.
The petitioner had maintained that while India continues firing and shelling on the borders, Indian dramas and movies were being aired in Pakistan despite their aggression.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2019.