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June 23, 2007

Pre-arrest bail granted in aircraft corruption case

 
June 23, 2007

Karachi

The High Court of Sindh (SHC), on Friday granted interim pre-arrest bail to a consultant, who was named as co-accused in the Cathy Pacific aircrafts corruption reference.

Pervaiz Hussain is named as beneficiary who received US $5,25,000 from the main accused Daryus Cyrus Minwala, a representative of the Cathy Pacific airways in an agreement regarding the induction of six B-747-300 aircrafts in PIA fleet on lease during 1999 to 2002.

The third accused Mohammad Rasheed Hasan, an ex-director Corporate Planning of the national flag carrier who was charged with receiving kickback for the said contract, was already on interim pre-arrest bail by the court.

The NAB alleged that the cumulative loss of US $31 million has caused to PIA due to act of its management as the Cathy

Pacific intentionally and

deliberately engaged Cyrus Minwalla to sell out its discarded fleet to PIA at exorbitant rates and they paid US $10.5 million to Minwala out of which US $5,25,000 were paid to Pervaiz Hussain and US $2,45,000 to Rasheed Hussain.

Pervaiz Hussain, who did not appear before the court as the court had exempted his appearance due to serious ailment, submitted that the facts revealed by the NAB investigation do not show an iota of evidence against him to constitute an offence as alleged in the reference. His counsel Anwar Tariq submitted that acquiring aircrafts on lease from M/s Cathy Pacific Airways by PIA, the transaction have been approved and vetted by competent authority and none of offence under NAB Ordinance is made out.

He said that NAB failed to bring on record the corruption in the deal concluded by the PIA with Cathy Pacific. He said that his client received consultancy fees after completion of the deal and at no point the public exchequer has been put to loss from such a deal adding that the reference was purely civil transaction but it has been dragged within the ambit of the NAB Ordinance to give it

the impression of fraud.

It was submitted that the NAB itself had stated that the contract of lease and purchase was approved by the board of directors of PIA and sanctioned by its management and the committee so constituted adding that unanimous decision was taken and at no stage any favouritism was given to any party and the deal was transparent.

The court was prayed to quash the proceedings against him in the Accountability Court as it was filed against him with ulterior motives and in the meantime he may be granted bail.

The SHC’s division bench comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Qaiser Iqbal, after preliminary hearing of the petition, granted interim pre-arrest bail to the petitioner with surety of Rs1 million and also issued notice to the Deputy Prosecutor General NAB for June 29, 2007 calling his comments on the petition.