Saturday September 18, 2021

SHC grants protective bail to Khuhro over NAB inquiry

August 03, 2021
SHC grants protective bail to Khuhro over NAB inquiry

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday granted interim pre-arrest bail to Pakistan Peoples Party leader Nisar Khuhro in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry pertaining to misuse of authority when he served as the provincial food minister.

Khuhro, who is currently serving as the adviser to the Sindh chief minister on boards and universities, has also served as the Sindh Assembly speaker in the past. He had moved the SHC for obtaining protective pre-arrest bail in connection with the NAB inquiry against him and other food department officials.

NAB had sent a call-up notice to Khuhro to seek his explanation over wheat lifting by different flour mills of Ghotki districts against the guarantees of post-dated cheques on the recommendations of food department officials for the crop year 2016-17, contrary to the approval by the chief minister Sindh.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner had already been granted protective bail by the court in respect of three call-up notices issued by the NAB Sukkur regarding some inquiries in the food department. He submitted that the petitioner as a provincial minister saw the urgency in the requirement to lift wheat and he did not go beyond the approved quantity of 0.3 metric tons of wheat allowed by the chief minister.

He submitted that the petitioner did not commit any unlawful act and saved the exchequer from extra markups and expenditure in protecting wheat stocks by covering the stock lying in the open sky and fumigation.

He submitted that the petitioner was ready to participate in the inquiry and record his statement but he apprehended his arrest by the NAB authorities. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, without touching the merit of the case, granted interim protective bail to the petitioner in respect of the inquiry against him as then food minster and other officials subject to furnishing a surety of Rs 0.5 million and directed the petitioner to join the inquiry. The high court issued notices to a NAB special prosecutor, federal law officer and others and called their comments on August 26.