Kickbacks: SC summons Sindh’s top officials over ‘controversial’ deal

Petitioner claims officials are buying the APCs from Serbia at a higher cost.


Our Correspondent August 13, 2014

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) has summoned Sindh’s top bureaucrat, home secretary and the top cop with original records relating to the controversial deal for the procurement of armoured personnel carriers.

A full bench, comprising Justices Amir Hani Muslim, Muhammad Athar Saeed and Gulzar Ahmed, gave two weeks to them to file their comments. The apex court was hearing a petition against the controversial deal for the procurement of the vehicles and other arms for the police at the Karachi Registry Branch.

Civil rights campaigner Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi had challenged the vires of the Sindh Emergency Procurement Act 2014 and procurement of the APCs. Naqvi had alleged that the APCs for the Sindh police were being purchased from Serbia at the behest of former SP Shakib Qureshi, who is the front man of Owais Muzzafar. He had argued that the ‘secondhand’ APCs had already been scrapped in Serbia, but the authorities were purchasing the same at a cost of Rs120 million per vehicle.

The petitioner claimed that the same vehicles could be purchased brand new from America at a relatively lower price of Rs40 million each. The petitioner submitted that he had brought the matter into the knowledge of the National Accountability Bureau to initiate a probe into the scam under Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance 1999. Although a briefing was given by Logistics AIG Tanveer Tahir to the NAB DG on April 26, the bureau was not satisfied with it. The bench issued notices to the chief secretary, home secretary and Sindh police IG to personally appear with original records of the APCs’ purchase deal. They have been given two weeks to file comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th,2014.

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