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Tuesday October 26, 2021

NAB assets case: SHC dismisses bail petitions of Sindh PA speaker, 10 others

October 14, 2021
NAB assets case: SHC dismisses bail petitions of Sindh PA speaker, 10 others

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications of Pakistan People's Party leader and Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani and 10 other co-accused for accumulating assets worth Rs1.6 billion from sources beyond known sources of income.

The court, however, confirmed pre-arrest bail of seven other co-accused, including wife, daughters and son of Siraj Durrani.

Their bail petitions were reheard following the direction of the Supreme Court that set aside the earlier SHC bail order and directed the high court to decide the bail petition on merit.

The NAB had filed a reference against Agha Siraj Durrani and other family members, including his brother Agha Massiuhddin Durrani, for accumulating assets worth Rsl.6 billion beyond his known source of income through Benamidars. The SHC’s division bench comprising Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, after hearing the arguments of the counsel, observed that the trial court had already taken cognizance of the offence and lacunae, if any, in the investigation stands cured. The court observed that prima facie sufficient material has been placed connecting Agha Siraj Durrani with the properties, which was not at all denied and the court does not find that he is entitled for concession of bail.

The court observed that other co-accused shown as Benamidars have been found affiliated with Agha Siraj Khan Durrani in one capacity or the other and their association with him and active participation in buying and selling the properties at his behest is perceptible from the material on the record. The court dismissed the petitions of co-accused Zulfiqar Ali Dahar, Shamshad Khatoon, Munawar Ali, Ghulam Murtaza, Mohammad Irfan, Shakeel Ahmed Soomro, Gulbahar Lohar Baloch, Tufail Ahmed Shah, Mitha Khan and Syed Mohammad Shah.

Clearing the speaker’s family members of any criminality, the court, however, observed that family members of Siraj Durrani including his wife, son and two daughters have been identified as Benamidar owners of certain properties like plots, flats vehicles; however, all such material prima facie tends to incriminate only Siraj Durrani and not his family members. The court observed that there was no evidence or even allegations that family members were either privy to his alleged acts of depravity, aiding and abetting him or knowledge that the money earned through illegal means was being used by him for purchasing the properties in their names. The court observed that family members have not held a public office nor there was an allegation that by using office of Agha Siraj Durrani they were able to generate resources and purchased the properties.

The court confirmed the pre-arrest bail of Ms Naheed Durrani, Sara Durrani, Shahana Durrani, Sonia Durrani, Agha Shahbaz Ali Khan and two others Aslam Pervez Langha and Gulzar Ahmed.