Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2019
Published in Category: Corruption

Assets case: Accountability Court orders to release Khursheed Shah

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SUKKUR : Accountability court Sukkur judge Ameer Ali Mehesser on Tuesday ordered to release former opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah in assets beyond known source of income case.

The court ordered to release PPP leader as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) failed to file any reference against him even after completion of 90 days of remand.

The court announced the reserved verdict and ordered Khursheed Shah to submit surety bond of Rs. 5 millions.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Khursheed Shah was presented before the court after completion of his previous remand. Khursheed Shah was taken in the ambulance to present in the court.

NAB prosecutor pleaded for another 15-days extension in his judicial remand while he was on judicial remand for last 87 days. However, the court extended the judicial remand of Khursheed Shah for another 5 days.

The court remarked that no reference against Khursheed Shah has been filed so far while 90 days of his judicial remand will be completed on December 16.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court that NAB chairman has written a letter for the formation of JIT to probe into the case December 10 while the reference will be filed on the next hearing.

In response, the judge remarked that reference should be filed on December 17, otherwise the decision will be made according to law.

“The accountability bureau has failed to produce any evidence or filed reference against Syed Khursheed Shah even after 90 days of his detention,” seasoned lawyer Senator Mian Raza Rabbani argued before the court on Tuesday.

Khursheed shah is being subjected to political victimization, Raza Rabbani said. He pleaded to the court to dismiss the case against the veteran political leader.

The NAB prosecutor on the court’s query informed the judge that the reference has been prepared and sent for the approval of the Chairman NAB.

The reference will be filed in the court after approval within 15 days, he further said. The court granted bail petition of Syed Khursheed Shah in the reference.

According to PPP leader’s lawyer Mukesh Kumar, the court has granted bail to his client and ordered for depositing a bail amount of Rs five million.

On December 10, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had decided to form a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into the case against Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leaders Syed Khursheed Shah.

The anti-graft watchdog had written a letter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General (DG) and Securities and Exchange Companies of Pakistan (SECP) chairman in this regard.

The anti-agency while asking the national institutions to provide officers expert in white collar crime said that the JIT investigation is necessary before filing reference against the PPP leader.

On September 18, the NAB arrested senior PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah in a case regarding his alleged assets beyond means. “NAB Sukkur arrested Syed Khursheed Shah in the assets beyond means case,” a brief handwritten statement issued by NAB Islamabad said.

Multiple corruption cases against Shah are under investigation with NAB. In 2012, an accountability court had directed NAB to file a reference against him on a complaint pertaining to alleged accumulation of illegitimate assets.

In 2013, NAB had reopened two corruption cases against Shah under the directives of the Lahore High Court.

In July this year, NAB Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal had approved nine inquiries against different personalities, including Shah.

Born in 1952, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah hails from Sindh’s Sukkur region, which he went on to represent as an MPA and later as MNA. He studied at Sukkur’s Islamia College and obtained the degrees of MA and LLB.

He was elected to the Sindh Assembly in 1988 during which he was made a provincial minister holding a wide range of portfolios – education, import and transport being some of them. He made his way to the parliament in 1990.

Shah also served as a federal minister for education in 1993, during slain PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto’s second government. In 2008, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur cum Shikarpur-II), PPP and became minister for labour and manpower. He was made the federal minister for religious affairs in 2010.

In 2013, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-II), PPP and became the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

He was elected to the National Assembly once again in 2018, as he won NA-206 (Sukkur-1) and was the opposition’s joint nominee for speaker’s position.