NAB, Centre called out for lack of investigation rules

Published: January 16, 2020
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Wednesday to the federal government, the law secretary, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor-general and other officials for being unable to devise regulations for inquiry and investigation in corruption cases.

A two-member bench, comprising SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and Justice Omar Sial, was hearing the petition.

The petitioner, Advocate Tariq Mansoor, maintained in court that rules for inquiry and investigation had to be formulated in accordance with Clause 34 of the NAB Ordinance. He claimed that inquiries and investigations could not be carried out without rules, adding that NAB had been operating without such rules for the last 20 years.

The court issued notices to the federal government, law secretary, NAB prosecutor general and other relevant officials, seeking their replies by February 12.

Perween Rahman murder

The same bench adjourned the hearing of a case pertaining to the murder of Orangi Pilot Project director Perween Rahman for two weeks.

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The bench was hearing the bail plea of Rehman Swati and others accused in the murder case.

The prosecutor, Qadir Memon, maintained that another joint investigation team (JIT) had been formed to investigate the murder, as per the orders previously given by the Supreme Court. He informed the court that the JIT had completed the inquiry, but had not yet submitted the report.

The counsel for the accused claimed that the submission of the report was being delayed, adding that seeking bail was the legal right of the accused.

The court remarked that the arguments over bail plea would be heard once the JIT report was received, and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Police recruitment

Separately, the SHC issued notices on Wednesday to the provincial government, home department and Sindh IGP on a petition pertaining to the recruitment of staff in the police’s information technology department.

A two-member bench was hearing the petition, filed by Muhammad Awais and nine others.

Usman Farooq, the petitioners’ counsel, informed the court that an advertisement was published for recruitment on nine vacant positions in the police call centre on December 24, 2019. He said that the petitioners had taken the recruitment test for the positions, which required intermediate or equivalent qualifications.

Farooq added that the petitioners had passed the written test, but their names were removed from the list due to ‘slow typing speed’ prior to the interviews. He submitted that there was no requirement of typing speed listed in the advertisement. He prayed the court that the candidates should be given due consideration for the positions.

Sentences struck down

Another bench, comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi, approved the appeals of five accused in a case pertaining to illegal allotment of land.

Former Revenue Board official Allah Bachayo, former mukhtiarkar Younis Dahri and three others had been convicted by an accountability court for the illegal allotment of 16 acres of land in Scheme 33. Bachayo and Dahri were each sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, while the others were given seven years of imprisonment each.

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The SHC bench annulled the verdict passed by the trial court on the accused’s appeals.

Seeking honours

A plea seeking the awarding of the highest military and civil honours to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was filed in the SHC.

Petitioner Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi maintained that the current army chief had rendered valuable services for the country, making historical decisions for national security and playing a key role in the restoration of the national economy.

The President, Prime Minister, defence minister, defence secretary, law secretary, foreign secretary and the Inter-Services Public Relations director were nominated as parties in the plea.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2020.

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