The Sindh High Court accepted on Wednesday the bail plea of Gorakh Hill Station Authority (GHSA) director general (DG) in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry pertaining to corruption and irregularities in funds of the authority.
Gorakh Hill Station, receives occasional snowfall in winters and is marked to be tourist spot. However, corruption in its development funds has marred the project.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed and Justice Adnan Iqbal Chaudhry, was hearing the plea.
At the outset of the hearing, the petitioner's counsel apprised that NAB issued a call up notice to GHSA DG Nasir Abbas Soomro following an inquiry regarding the alleged corruption and irregularities in funds was launched.
The counsel moved the court to accept Soomro's interim bail plea to restrict NAB from arresting him.
At this, the court accepted the counsel's request and granted Soomro an interim bail, against the surety of Rs500,000 .
It also sought replies from NAB, special public prosecutor and others on June 18.
New NAB inquiry
The bench directed the accused to cooperate in investigations while hearing their pleas challenging new NAB inquiries on the allegations of acquiring assets beyond means against Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and others.
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At the outset of this hearing, the NAB prosecutor apprised that the reference against the prime accused was filed but some of the co-accused had not joined the investigations as yet, which affected the inquiry.
The prosecutor claimed that strong evidence against the co-accused, Dost Muhammad Chachar, Ghulam Murtaza and others, was available.
At this, the counsel representing the accused contended that since NAB has already filed the reference, no further inquiry can be carried out.
Irked at the counsel's argument, the court directed the co-accused to join the investigations immediately and record their statement to the investigation officer on the same day.
The bails of the accused will be canceled if they don't cooperate in investigations, remarked the court, seeking a progress report from NAB.
PSM corruption case
During a separate hearing, the bench directed NAB prosecutor to clear out objections imposed over a plea challenging former Pakistan Steel Mills chairperson Aftab Moin Sheikh's acquittal from PSM corruption case.
NAB chairperson had filed the plea seeking nullification an accountability court's order to acquit Moin.
Separately, the bench extended the stay against FIA-led inquiry pertaining to corruption in National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) while seeking a report from assistant attorney general (AAG) of Pakistan, over a plea challenging the inquiry.
The NAB officials apprised NAB was investigating about the alleged corruption of funds, illegal appointments and other allegations pertaining to heavy salaries, while the details sought were provided to the FIA as well.
The court inquired whether the funds for running the hospital were provided by the Centre.
At this, the petitioner’s counsel maintained that the NICVD was provincial property as the provincial government runs it therefore an inquiry led by the FIA was illegal.
On it, the AAG sought extension to prepare arguments in favor of FIA led inquiry.
The court adjourned the hearing till the first week of August while seeking a report and arguments from AAG on the next hearing.
BTK attack case
Moreover, the SHC accepted the bail pleas of nationalist party leaders accused in Bahria Town Karachi (BTK).
The court granted week-long protective bails to the accused petitioners, against the surety of Rs25,000 each, directing them to reach out to the trail court within a week.
Those who acquired bails include Riaz Chandio, Khalid Junejo and Gul Hassan Kalmati.
A case, registered under the sections of Anti-Terrorism Act, and others, was under trial at an anti-terrorism court.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10h, 2021.