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Sunday July 21, 2024

Court summons Dr Asim, others after restoration of graft case

By Our Correspondent
September 27, 2023

An accountability court has restored a Rs17 billion corruption case to its pre-transfer status and summoned former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain and his co-accused to appear on October 7.

Dr Hussain and others are facing charges of unlawfully awarding gas contracts to a private gas company, Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL), for gas processing from government gas fields without conducting an open auction, leading to a staggering loss of Rs17.338 billion to the national exchequer.

The case was returned to the National Accountability Bureau following an order of the Sindh High Court in light of amendments made to the accountability law. However, the reference was transferred back to the accountability court after the Supreme Court set aside these amendments on September 15.

Accountability Court No. IV fixed the case for hearing on October 7 and issued summons to Dr Hussain and seven other accused to appear at the hearing.

Dr Hussain, former SSGC managing directors Khalid Rehman and Zuhair Siddiqui, former OGDCL managing director Basharat Mirza, the SSGC’s then deputy managing directors Yousuf Jamil Ansari and Shoaib Warsi, the SSGC’s former treasury and finance general manager Malik Usman and JJVL CEO Iqbal Z Ahmed were indicted in the case in February 2018.

In the reference filed in March 2016, NAB claimed that the former minister and officials permitted the JJVL to illegally process gas of Kunar Pasakhi Deep, Bobi, Sinjhoro, Naimat Basal and Badin gas fields without fulfilling the legal requirements because neither an open auction was held nor an agreement was signed. NAB alleged that the accused caused the exchequer to lose Rs17.34 billion.