Qaim Ali Shah gets pre-arrest bail in NAB case

Says did not misuse powers as provincial CM

Our Correspondent March 26, 2019
Former Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted on Tuesday granted a 10-day pre-arrest bail to former chief minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case pertaining to money laundering and fake bank accounts.

A divisional bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani, accepted the interim bail of the former chief minister against surety bonds worth Rs1 million, and directed Shah to join the NAB investigation.

Shah had stated in his plea that NAB had served called-up notices to him for March 27, for investigation related to Thatta Sugar Mill and Dadu Sugar Mill. He requested to prevent the department from detaining him on his appearance before the investigation team.

Shah said he had not misused his powers as the Sindh chief minister, adding that a criminal case against him was initiated to politically victimise him. He affirmed that he wanted to join NAB's inquiries but feared for his arrest and humiliation.

NAB had no evidence against him, Shah said, requesting the court to grant pre-arrest bail in order to stop NAB from arresting him.

The former Sindh CM said he was 85 years old and being a senior citizen, was entitled to interim bail.

The bench noted that the petitioner had filed a bail plea in a case related to Thatta Sugar Mills.

Justice Aamer Farooq observed that the petitioner should have filed two petitions if he was summoned in two inquiries by the anti-graft body.

At this, the petitioner's counsel said that his client would file another petition for bail in the second case. After hearing arguments at length, the bench accepted the interim bail plea of Shah in both inquiries and directed him to join NAB investigation.

The former chief minister has been named in a report by the joint investigation team tasked with the investigation into the fake accounts case. He was among 172 people named in the report who were to be placed on the exit control list.