ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday acquitted former chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khalid Aziz from corruption charges in an accountability case.
A three-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing an appeal of Khalid Aziz against an order of the Peshawar High Court, which had reduced his sentence as well as fine, awarded and imposed by the accountability court on the charges of corruption, but had not acquitted him.
Appearing on notice, Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Khalid Aziz, submitted that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had not estimated resources of the former secretary before or after filing the reference against him. He contended that in fact his client was innocent but was awarded sentence merely on the basis of unproved allegations and without concrete evidence by the accountability court, thus deserved to be pardoned.
The NAB’s Prosecutor Asghar Rana could not prove the allegation against Khalid Aziz and the court exonerated him from all the charges. On January 17, 2002, an accountability court had indicted Khalid Aziz and two others in a NAB reference. The accused - Khalid Aziz, his wife Neelofar Aziz and a former cashier of the education department, Khadim Hussain - had pleaded not guilty to the charge and had decided to stand trial.
Khalid Aziz was charged with using his influence, when he was additional chief secretary, to award a contract of Rs15 million for provision of furniture to the primary education department, to his firm Hayat and Brothers. It was alleged that the accused had provided substandard items to the department and caused a loss to the national exchequer.