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July 19, 2019

Corruption has spoiled country’s image, caused poverty: high court

Karachi

July 19, 2019

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday observed that corruption had spoiled Pakistan’s image and was resulting in ever-increasing poverty, unemployment and hunger.

The high court made the remarks while hearing bail petitions in a Rs800 million corruption case pertaining to the sale of amenity land.

Dismissing the bail petitions of former officer bearers of the Karimabad Ismailia Multipurpose Cooperative Society in the corruption case, a division bench of the SHC, comprising Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, observed that eight acres of land was gifted to the society’s management for welfare of the people but the management sold those amenity plots against a large sum of money.

Hameedullah Sheikh, Sikandar Ali, Mohammad Ali, Pervaiz Akhtar Khan, Syed Mazhar Ali Shah and 10 others were booked by the National Accountability Bureau, which alleged that the society’s management misused the land for amenity purposes by turning it into a commercial land, which caused losses to the national exchequer to the tune of Rs800 million.

The SHC observed that it had been established from the documentary evidence that the Aga Khan Ismailia Charitable Trust had gifted a plot, ST-2 Block 3, situated in KDA Scheme 16, FB Area through a gift deed in March 1992 for a building to be constructed thereon and the possession thereof was also handed over to the society to run the affairs for the benefits of their members who were residents of the society.

The court observed that the petitioners violated the by-laws and the amenity area of 20,000 square yards was converted for the commercial use. The SHC observed that officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority had misused their authority, power and position to allow such conversion in violation of the SBCA rules and regulations as well as in contravention of the building plan issued on August 24, 1998.

The court also observed that the petitioners and the management allegedly sold the amenity area at higher rates and the amount so received was pocketed by them in their personal accounts.

The SHC noticed that it had been revealed that the transfer and registration fees to the tune of Rs30.5 million and the security deposit amounting to Rs76 million, which was not mentioned in the books of account, were collected by the petitioners and embezzled by the office bearers of the society.

The court observed that prima facie there was sufficient material available on record to connect the petitioners Barkat Ali, Nizar Ali Fazwani, Karim Farishta, Amin Mohammad Fazwani and Essa Khan with the commission of offence and the petitioners have failed to make out their case for grant of pre-arrest bail.

The court dismissed the bail petitions of Hameedullah, Sikandar, Mohammad Ali, Parvez and Mazhar and recalled their interim protective bail. The SHC, however, granted post-arrest bail to Zulfiqar Hassan Ali and Shaukat Hussain, who had left the society in 2005. The court observed that that allegation against Zulfiqar and Shaukat that they were also in connivance with the other accused, would be examined by the trial court after recording evidence.

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