Two accused of misappropriating Bait-ul-Mal funds convicted

The News

An accountability court has convicted and awarded seven-year imprisonments to two employees of the General Post Office who had misappropriated funds of the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal allocated for the deserving and the needy.
The courts issued the orders on Saturday as the prosecution proved the charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds under the head of ‘Food Support Programme’ against the accused Azeem Shahab and Shaikh Ejaz.
According to the prosecution, instead of distributing the funds (Rs2,000) to the needy, the convicts distributed them amongst themselves and committed corruption of around Rs42,000. The court also disqualified the convicts from holding any public office for a period of 10 years.
Hearings adjourned
The accountability court has fixed June 9 as the next date of hearing for a more than Rs17 billion corruption reference against former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain and others.
Dr Asim Hussain is abroad for medical treatment and the court has exempted him from appearing before the judge. However, Zohair Siddiqui, Shoaib Wasim and others were present in the hearing on Saturday.
In the case, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted that Dr Asim and others had committed corruption of more than Rs17 billion while granting illegal contracts of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). He and others are said to be involved committing huge corruption in dealing with the financial affairs of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).
It is further alleged that the accused had committed corruption of billions of rupees in the awarding of illegal contracts for five gas fields in Sindh to Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL).
Dr Asim along with others is being tried in another reference where he was alleged to have committed corruption of more than Rs462 billion. He and other co-accused have been indicted in this corruption reference. Moreover, the former minister along with Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Anis Qaimkhani, Abdul Qadir Patel, Saleem Shehzad and some other political leaders is also facing a case in an anti-terrorism court. The accused are out on bail in all cases.
Meanwhile, the accountability court (AC-I) in a corruption reference against former Sindh information minister and PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon, put off the hearing till May 31.
A prosecution witness Zeenat Jahan is being cross-examined by the attorneys for Sharjeel Memon and others. However, on Saturday she failed to appear due to which the court announced adjournment of the hearing till May 31 and issued notice to the witness to appear at the next hearing.
Sharjeel Memon and other co-accused were produced before the court.
The court inquired of Memon on the conditions and facilities being provided to him by the prison authorities. He replied that the prison has no air cooler and he has made a request to the government of Sindh to provide air coolers to all prisons in Sindh.
The judge observed that it was a good act to provide air coolers to the under-tail trial prisoners. Memon further said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan had paid a visit to the prison and appreciated the authorities and also the management of the prison hospital for providing better health facilities to the prisoners.
Later, while talking to the journalists at outside the courtroom, Memom condemned PTI leader Naeemul Haque for slapping federal minister Danial Aziz of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz saying it was a shameful act.
He expressed his displeasure over the stance of PTI chief Imran Khan who appreciated Naeemul Haque. He said instead of snubbing Haque, his party chief adored him which showed the negative culture of the PTI. He said when the people have no political arguments, they choose to use physical force and it was a very negative trend in politics.
Memon declared that he and his party would never allow the division of Sindh in any circumstances. He said his party would not only win the general elections but would emerge as the single representative political party of the people of Sindh.
Intezar murder case
Meanwhile, Intezar Ahmed murder case was adjourned till June 4 as the judge of the trial court was on leave.
The murder case against eight Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) cops, Tariq Raheem, Tariq Mehmood, Ghulam Abbas, Azhar Ahsan, Fawad Khan, Danial, Bilal and Shahid is being heard by the ATC housed at the central prison.
Two bail applications filed by Tariq Raheem and Tariq Mehmood are pending with the court that has to hear arguments of the attorneys for the two accused at the next hearing. The accused cops involved in the case have already challenged their trial under the provisions of Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 arguing that the murder should be transferred to a regular court. Twenty-eight-year-old Intezar Ahmed was killed on January 14 allegedly after ACLC officials opened fire on his car on Khayaban-e-Ittehad.

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