Five accused walk out after SHC dismisses their interim bails in NAB cases

Dawn

HYDERABAD: Five suspects, including two senior officers of Hyderabad Development Autho¬rity, chairman of Hyderabad Railway Employees Cooperative Society and its administrator, easily walked out of court after Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad circuit bench dismissed their interim bails in different cases on Wednesday.
A division bench comprising Justices Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Fahim Ahmed Siddiqui dismissed the bails through a short order in five identical petitions in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases observing that reasons for the dismissal would be recorded later. The suspects were not arrested by NAB officials or police when they walked out of court.
HDA’s chief town planner Mohammad Iqbal Memon, HDA’s additional director planning and development control (P&DC) Shahid Pervez Memon, former Railways society chairman Matloob Ahmed, its administrator and assistant registrar of cooperative department, Sattar Leghari and Naveed Zarar Khan were on bail. Of them (Sattar Leghari) had not turned up in court.
According to NAB investigation, Iqbal Memon had recommended that layout plan of the Railways society should be extended for three months with directive to submit the demarcated layout plan.
Shahid Pervez Memon, co-accused, had also submitted a note sheet for extension of society’s layout plan in line with HDA’s governing body decisions in 2010. Matloob Ahmed was accused of preparing a fake layout plan of the society for selling plots carved out of land located on one of the city’s prime locations along Autobahn Road. He got the layout plan revised and added 54 more plots which were not part of the actual and first layout plan of the society’s land, said the NAB probe.
Riazat Ali Sehar advocate, who represented Iqbal Memon and Shahid Pervez, argued bails of his clients should be confirmed in line with rule of consistency as HDA DG was also given bail in the same case after having been arrested by NAB.
He said the then DG HDA being competent authority for any approval had agreed with Iqbal Memon’s note that no objection certificate granted to the Railways society should be suspended.
He argued that there was no misuse of authority and no loss was caused to national exchequer. Similarly, he said, no lease was allowed. After Mr Memon was transferred within 18 days of the note none of his successors took notice of it for three years, he said.
He contended the note was also signed by three high-ups and one of them later became a prosecution witness. Another director made similar note for extension of layout till 2014 and pleaded that there were 52 plots in respect of which NAB had allowed plea bargain to 12 beneficiaries and voluntary return (VR) was allowed to 40 beneficiaries of the plots only recently, he said.
Ishrat Lohar advocate, counsel for Abdul Sattar Leghari, said that his client was appointed administrator on the orders of SHC passed on Sept 8, 2010, in a constitutional petition filed by Aijazul Hassan and others against the Railways society, asking the court to remove then administrator Asif Nawab and appoint an administrator for holding elections.
Then, he said, Asif Nawab was removed and Sattar Leghari was appointed administrator. In the meantime, he said, the second senior civil judge issued a decree in respect of six plots and Leghari allowed lease of the plots in line with court’s order.
He said that NAB blamed him for violating the court’s order and said that Leghari had only allowed lease of six plots under civil court’s order passed in separate suits. The civil court’s identical order attained finality as nobody had filed appeal against it, he said.
He said that he could not be charge-sheeted under Section 9 of National Accountability Ordi¬nance 1999 as there was no evidence against him and even if he was to be prosecuted then he could be held responsible for contempt of court only, but not for corruption.

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