The Peshawar High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The petition had requested that the PHC direct the accountability court to summon six high-ranking officials named in the weapons procurement case.
The petition was filed as part of an ongoing reference on an alleged embezzlement of Rs2.03 billion in the procurement of weapons for the K-P police from 2008-10. Upon hearing arguments from NAB’s representatives and lawyers of the named officials, Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Abdul Latif Khan dismissed the petition.
The suspects nominated by NAB include former additional IGP and FC commandant Abdul Majeed Khan, former additional IGP operation Abdul Latif Khan, CPO DIG Sajid Ali Khan, former DIG headquarter Muhammad Suleman Khan, former CPO establishment AIG Kashif Alam and former DIG telecommunication Sadiq Kamal Orakzai.
A similar petition, filed against an interim order of the accountability court over summoning the aforementioned, was earlier dismissed by PHC on September 11, 2014. The accountability court had maintained the involvement of these officials has not been explicitly defined in the reference.
During the course of the hearing, Abdul Samad Khan, counsel for Abdul Majeed, told the court the deputy prosecutor general (DPG) has no authority to file a petition and that only the NAB chairman can file the application. “So far, three petitions have been filed in the case and not one has been initiated by the competent authority,” he said.
The DPG informed the court five other nominees have already been arrested in connection with the case.
Former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti’s relative Raza Ali Khan has paid back Rs195 million while another accused Naiz Ali Shah paid Rs20 million through the voluntary return system. The DPG said the detainees were in collusion with the accused and had rubber-stamped the down payment and summaries – also mentioned by the approver Arshad Majeed. Following the arguments, the court dismissed the petition.
Bail applications of former IGP Malik Naveed Khan and Ghazan Hoti are reserved and pending, respectively. The PHC and Supreme Court had earlier rejected their pleas, but they approached the PHC once again.
Budget officer Javed Khan was on bail in the said case but was arrested in connection with another case for possessing illegal assets.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2015.