KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau informed the Sindh High Court on Thursday that it was going to file a reference against former Nazim Mustafa Kamal and 11 others who are accused of illegal allotment of 5,000 square feet of land in Karachi's coastal area.
This information was given to the bench, headed by the Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and comprising Justice Umar Sial, while it was hearing the bail pleas of former Director-General of the Sindh Building Control Authority Iftekhar Qaimkhani, Mumtaz Haider, Nazeer Zardari and others in the case of illegal allotment of land in coastal area.
As the NAB informed about its intention to file a reference against former city Nazim Mustafa Kamal and 11 others, the bench ordered the NAB to submit a report on May 2, after filing the reference.
The investigation officer informed the bench that the inquiry against the accused has been completed and the matter has been forwarded to the headquarters for filing the reference.
The land was initially given on lease to hawkers and shopkeepers in 1980. But DJ Builders acquired all the land on lease in 2005. Former city Nazim Mustafa Kamal illegally permitted the builders to construct high rise building on the land. Mustafa Kamal has been nominated as the accused and his statement has also been recorded, said the investigation officer.
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Korangi land case
The SHC summoned the Director-General of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to personally appear before it on March 20, to explain his department's position in a case relating to the illegal allotment of 350 acres of land in Korangi district of Karachi.
The directive was given by a two-member-bench comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Justice Umar Sial while hearing a plea filed by Agha Asghar Ali against the NAB inquiry about the illegal allotment of 350 acres of land in Korangi.
Petitioner's counsel argued that the NAB had filed the reference against his client on the accusation from which the anti-corruption department had already cleared him.
Anti-Corruption Department filed the case against former minister Imtiaz Sheikh and others in 2004-05 due to some political motives, said the counsel adding that the court, however, released all the accused in this case.
The NAB has again filed the reference against the petitioner for the same case. "No witness has testified in the subordinate court against my client being involved in the case," said the counsel, maintaining that the two cases filed on the same accusation were contrary to Article 13 of the Constitution of Pakistan, therefore the petitioner should be released by annulling the reference.
The court adjourned the hearing and summoned the NAB DG to personally appear on March 20 for the explanation of this situation.
Thatta land case
The same bench, while hearing a case of the transfer of 134 acres of land, directed the NAB to present land (transactions) record of Thatta since 1990.
The bench inquired how the NAB initiated an inquiry into the case while there was no complainant against the accused, Irshad Shah and Nazeer Shah.
Chief Justice inquired, "if anyone files a false complaint against NAB's investigation officer or director, would the NAB start an inquiry against them also? How could the court believe the investigation officer to be honest. Who is the Director of NAB? Summon him."
NAB Sindh Director Tariq Khan replied that he was the director. Chief Justice inquired, "tell the court that which land is being talked about and what is the case?" Tariq Khan, however, failed to give details about the case. Chief Justice asked, "what is your duty? Do you come in the court to take rest?" Court adjourned the hearing till April 9, and sought the records of land of Thatta from NAB since 1990.
While hearing a case of accumulation of illegal assets against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Ghulam Qadir Palejo, the same bench ordered the NAB to submit a progress report about the inquiry in the case by March 30.
The investigation officer informed the court that investigations were carried out against Palejo for making assets beyond means but nothing was proved.
Chief Justice remarked, "if such is the status, you should give it in writing." Investigation officer further informed the court that a decision to close the inquiry against Palejo will be made soon.
The petitioner, challenging the NAB action, had maintained that the inquiry against Ghulam Qadir Palejo has been continuing for the past two years but no evidences have been found against him.
A prosecutor informed the same bench that an inquiry in illegal appointments in Sindh Small Industries Corporations has since been completed and the same has been forwarded to the NAB headquarters for the filing of a reference.
The bench directed the NAB officials to submit the report after filing the reference till May 2.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Rauf Siddiqi and others have been nominated as accused in the case, said the prosecutor, adding that NAB had gathered enough evidence to prove its case of illegal appointments against Rauf Siddiqi and others.