KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to wrap up the investigation against Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani within four weeks.
During the hearing of the case, SHC Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh asked the NAB investigating officer how far along the investigation was.
To this, the NAB investigating officer told the court that Durrani’s remand had been completed along with the preliminary investigation. However, more investigation is underway.
Addressing the NAB director, the court ordered the probe be completed by May 29 and asked the accountability watchdog to submit the report.
The court further asked how many illegal cars Durrani owns, to which the NAB investigator said, “Durrani has bought 25 cars illegally.”
When asked till when the bureau will submit the investigation report, the NAB investigator said they need four weeks to submit it. To this, the court said if the investigation is not completed in four weeks, then it will give its verdict on the evidence that has been presented to it.
At this, Durrani’s lawyer stated that his client is in prison and that the court should have a bail hearing. To this, the court said, “Here we have people lying in prisons for years.”
Durrani’s lawyer further told the court that his client has taken the stance that his arrest was illegal and that he was arrested for political revenge. “The women of the house were harassed during NAB’s raid,” he added. He continued, “NAB has been unable to present any credible evidence till now and his arrest should be declared illegal. The inquiry should be closed and he should be released on bail.”
The court then ordered the accountability watchdog to wrap up the investigation in four weeks.
NAB officials arrested Durrani, who was under investigation in three cases pertaining to illegal appointments, accumulating assets beyond means, and embezzlement of funds, from a private hotel in Islamabad in February. The PPP leader was then presented before an accountability court and his three-day transit remand was secured.
The accountability bureau had sought seven-day transit remand of Durrani, but the accountability court granted three-day transit remand and directed NAB to produce him before the relevant court in Karachi within three days. The Sindh Assembly speaker was then transported to Karachi and shifted to a NAB office.
According to Durrani’s family, NAB officers carried out a raid at their residence in Karachi on Wednesday night and took with them several documents and files. In all, they took three boxes’ worth of items and papers after the seven-hour-long raid, the family said.
NAB had initiated three separate inquiries against Durrani last year for allegedly owning assets beyond means, illegally recruiting 352 individuals on various government positions and embezzlement of funds for the construction of the MPA Hostel and construction of the new Sindh Assembly building.