Corruption reference: SHC questions NAB's conduct as it grants bail to Durrani

December 14, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday granted bail to Pakistan People's Party leader and Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani charged with the accumulation of Rs1.6 billion assets beyond...

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday granted bail to Pakistan People's Party leader and Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani charged with the accumulation of Rs1.6 billion assets beyond known sources of income, observing that "there are a number of aspects which make it a case of further inquiry".

It, however, directed the Ministry of Interior to place the name of Agha Siraj Durrani on the Exit Control List. The anti-corruption watchdog had filed a reference against Durrani and his family members, including his brother Agha Massiuhddin Durrani, for accumulating assets worth Rs1.6 billion beyond his known source of income through benamidars. The other co-accused — Agha Massiuhudin, Gulzar Ahmed, Aslam Pervez Langah, Tufail Ahmed Shah, Shamshad Khatoon, Mitha Khan, Shakeel Ahmed Soomro and Zulfiqar Ali Dahar — had earlier been granted pre-arrest bail. The petitioner’s counsel submitted that Durrani owned the assets in his name and those in the names of his immediate family members. He said the petitioner’s daughters had also had land in their names from which they generated income, and there was no such admission for the other properties which NAB claimed were in the names of his front men.

The NAB prosecutor argued that the petitioner had collected assets beyond his known sources of income and his bail petition should be dismissed. A division bench, headed by Justice Omer Sial, observed that NAB’s allegations during tentative assessment were vague and would require further inquiry.

It said NAB alleged that Durrani owns vehicles whose worth adds up to Rs49,624,000, but the reference itself states that the registration of vehicles is in the names of unknown persons and no credentials or details of these unknown persons have been shown before the court by the NAB prosecutor. Besides, it observed, NAB did not collect sufficient evidence with regard to the purchase of valuables worth Rs125,000,000 which were found in the locker of the petitioner and his wife and landholding documents pertained to the petitioner’s daughters.



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