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January 22, 2020

ACE submits interim charge sheet against local govt secretary

Karachi

January 22, 2020

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) provisionally chargesheeted on Monday Sindh Local Government Secretary Roshan Ali Shaikh among 11 other government employees and private contractors in a case pertaining to alleged corruption in Rs800 million funds for the development of a road in Hijrat Colony.

The interim challan was submitted by an assistant director of the establishment, Aijaz Ali Kaimkhani, before the Karachi anti-corruption court. It read that in violation of the rules and laws, a job of the Karachi Development Authority was assigned to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation by the orders of Shaikh allegedly for personal gains.

According to ACE, an inquiry was conducted over a complaint against the Khyber Builders for re-publishing tenders of the KDA regarding the construction of an internal road and CC flooring in UC-29 in Hijrat Colony. Subsequently, a raid was conducted at the offices of the executive engineers (XEN) of the KDA and KMC and the recovery of documents transpired several irregularities in the road project.

It was established that the tender was based on forged documents and even a committee constituted by the KDA director general to look into the matter concluded that the officers in whose names it had been moved were not the employees of the authority and they used forged and manipulated documents.

The challan added that the work on the road was started illegally – without the approval of the competent authority – as neither was the tender awarded to the contractor nor were any requisite formalities conducted. “Besides, the agreements were signed by the then DG KDA Badar Jamil Mendhro. He also gave technical sanctions illegally, which was the job of the chief engineer of the KDA.”

It alleged that neither had there been any administrative approval nor was NIT ID aptly displayed on the website of the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.

ACE maintained that the local government secretary issued orders through a section officer to appoint XEN of the KMC in KDA work worth Rs800 million in a deceitful way for personal gains. “The series of illegalities committed by the racket establishes that the acts were done [for] ulterior motive, which was huge bribe and kickbacks.”

The charge sheet accused Shaikh, Mendhro, KMC XEN Zaheer Abbas, KDA assistant XEN Syed Muhammad Raza, KDA sub-engineer Talat Bhatti, KMC Accounts Officer Hussain Ali Jafferi, Local Government Department Additional Secretary Zahid Hussain Khemtio, former local government department section officer Athar Nawaz Durrani, and contractors Khyber Builders, Muhammad Yar Khan Brothers and MD Construction of the offence.

Only Abbas was arrested and he later secured bail. The rest of the suspects are on pre-arrest bail, except Khemtio and Durrani who have so far been absconders. The court granted ACE until February 12 to file the final charge sheet against the suspects.

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