Judicial body to probe embezzlement of quake rehab funds


MANSEHRA: The Supreme Court has formed a judicial commission to fix responsibility for the embezzlement of the 2005 earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction funds and delay in the execution of reconstruction projects in Balakot.
The court has given the commission headed by district and sessions judge of Mansehra Mohammad Zeb Khan two months to submit report on the matter, lawyer Munir Hussain Lughmani told reporters here on Wednesday.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the funds embezzlement and delay in reconstruction work on the petition filed by human right activist from Mansehra Sheraz Mehmood Qureshi earlier this year.
Lughmani, the lawyer for Qureshi, said the Supreme Court bench heard the case on Tuesday for the second time since the CJ visited Balakot in March this year, and discussed the TORs finalised by the committee headed by the district and sessions judge.
He said a committee included him, district president of Mansehra District Bar Association Basharat Abid, attorney general and representatives of Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority had finalised TORs.
The lawyer said the judicial commission would first collect details of funds and grants received by the federal government from international community for earthquake reconstruction projects and their utilisation.
He said the commission would also see if funds meant for rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by the 2005 earthquake were used for some other purposes, and would identify those responsible for long delay in the construction of the New Balakot City.
BODY FOUND: An elderly person was found dead in a ravine of Allari area in Balakot on Wednesday.
Mohammad Rustam, 65, had gone missing last week.
A group of people spotted his body in the ravine and informed the police, who shifted it to the Civil Hospital, where the elderly person’s family identified it. The family said it had no enmity.
The local police registered an FIR and handed over the body to family before beginning investigation into the death.

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