15 acquitted in Haripur land corruption case


PESHAWAR: An accountability court on Tuesday acquitted 15 people, including 11 revenue officers and four directors of Swat Textile Mills, Haripur, of the charges of committing corrupt practices during the disposal of a vast piece of mills land.
Judge Naveed Ahmad Khan ruled that the National Accountability Bureau Khyber Pakhtunkhwa didn’t prove charges against the accused during the trial continuing for around seven years.
The NAB had charged 17 people in the reference. However, one of the revenue officers and a tehsildar, Sultan Mehmood, and mills director Zia Ahmad had passed away during the trial.
The accused included tehsildars Sardar Manzoor, Javed Khan and Mehmood Khan, gardawars Zakir Khan and Malik Asif, and others. Shahnawaz Khan, lawyer for the accused, said no evidence was available on record to prove the charges and even the NAB officials were not clear about what crime was committed.
He added that neither was there any loss to the national exchequer in the case nor any illegality was committed.
The lawyer said the NAB had alleged that in financial year 1983-84, the Swat Textile Mills, Haripur, suffered losses and therefore, it sought permission for the disposal of 590 kanals of its land to clear liabilities.
He added that it was claimed that the relevant court had allowed the mills to sell that land but the directors disposed of more than that from time to time. The lawyer said the NAB had alleged that the revenue officers had connived with the directors to sell the land in excess.
He said the court’s order didn’t carry any limit for disposing of the land but it was alleged that the board of directors was permitted to dispose of the land in excess.
The lawyer added that even the revenue officers charged in the case had performed on different occasions but they didn’t know about the exact measurement of the land disposed of from time to time.
He said it was on record that after disposing of the land, the amount received was transferred to different bank accounts to clear liabilities and that none of the amount was misused.

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