The Sindh High Court (SHC) reserved its judgment on Thursday after arguments were completed on a petition seeking the removal of Pakistan Peoples Party leader Shajeel Memon's wife's name from the Exit Control List (ECL). Her name was placed on the list due to an assets beyond known means of income case.
A two-member bench of Justice KK Agha and Justice Abdul Mobeen Lakho was hearing the petition. Advocate Raj maintained that Sadaf Sharjeel traveled abroad for business purposes and medical checkups. "Sadaf Sharjeel also travels to meet her daughter who is pursuing her studies in the US."
NAB prosecutor Riaz Alam maintained that Sharjeel Memon and his family had accumulated assets beyond their known means of income. "It is feared they will not return to Pakistan if they are allowed to travel abroad."
He asked how Sadaf Sharjeel will be made to return to Pakistan if she obtains a US or Canadian citizenship. "Many suspects are escaping accountability; this will also impact their trials."
Justice KK Agha asked if an indictment had been filed in the case to which the NAB prosecutor replied in the negative.
The court also asked how many suspects were involved in the case. The investigation officer Adeel Khattak failed to answer. The bench was displeased and questioned the capability of the IO.
The NAB prosecutor maintained that the previous investigation, Omair Memon, had been suspended and the case was handed over to Khattak. "In the past five to six months, Adeel Khattak could not even learn about the total count of suspects?" the court remarked.
Missing person located
The same bench disposed of a missing person petition after the whereabouts of Muhammad Yousuf were traced to Mardan Jail. The court disposed the petition on a report presented by the investigation officer.
The report presented by the investigation maintained that the whereabouts of Yousuf, who had gone missing from Karachi, had been learnt. He was imprisoned in Mardan jail and this development made the petition non-admissible.
Muhammad Yousuf was booked for various cases and investigations were under way. The court wrapped up the petition seeking the recovery of Yousuf.
Separately, the bench accepted the appeal of a suspect against a model court's decision which convicted him of possessing a kilogramme of heroin.
The court annulled the decision of the model court and acquitted Afzal in the case.
The East model court had sentenced the suspect to 10 years in prison. He was also handed another six-months for failing to pay a Rs 50,000 penalty. A case was registered against the suspect at Korangi police station. The police arrested Afzal and reportedly recovered a kilogramme of heroin from his possession.
Another bench barred the relevant authorities from leasing out further land in a scheme of Rufi Builders and sought a complete record on the next hearing of the case. The court was hearing the bail plea of Abdul Rauf Rufi and Manzoor Rufi,
A two-member bench of justices Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Shamsuddin Abbasi had taken up the case. The counsel of those allegedly affected by the scheme maintained that the suspects had defrauded 1,296 individuals, while their plea bargain had also been rejected by the accountability court.
"A society by the name of Rufi Global City has been built on the Super Highway. People had pooled their savings to buy plots in the society spread on 42-acre of land. The Rufi Builders, after taking money, sold the 17-acre land to another party. We want that our plots be given to us. The suspects possess the original documents of the land. We fear they will sell our land to some other party," the counsel stated
The court summoned the investigation officer at the next hearing and adjourned the case till June 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2021.