Court grants plea bargain to accused in corruption reference | Pakistan Today

Court grants plea bargain to accused in corruption reference

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday granted a plea bargain petition of accused Harish and removed his name from the list of accused in Harish and Company reference.

The accused, in his petition, said that he had returned the amount and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman had accepted his request. Accused Harish pleaded the court to grant his plea in the case.

“Do you know you will be a convicted person after approval of the plea bargain?” Judge Mohammad Bashir asked the petitioner. “Do you know you will be disqualified for 10 years to contest election?” the judge further questioned. “I am aware of it and would not have to contest an election,” the accused replied.

“What charges were you facing,” the judge asked him.

“I was charged of an illegal contract and using substandard material in the project,” the accused replied.

“Seek pardon from Almighty and do not do it again. It is public money,” the judge said.

NAB’s Investigation Officer Muhammad Furqan informed the court that cheques of Rs39 million were issued for Thatta Urban Water Supply scheme, which were sent to a fake account at Sindh Bank Gol Market branch in Karachi. Abdul Ghani Majeed has accepted those accounts, investigation officer said. It was misappropriation of overall Rs509.6 million amount, he said.

NAB recovered Rs39.2 million by freezing fake bank accounts, while the remaining amount was received through plea bargain, NAB officer said.

The court granted plea bargain and acquitted the accused from the accountability reference.

The judge also remarked that the accused has submitted his statement on oath and he will be bound to all terms and conditions of the plea.

According to the accountability reference, Harish and Company had taken a contract for water supply from the Special Initiative Department of Sindh but no work was done on the project. It was further alleged that these funds were used to meet the expenses of Naudero House.

NAB claimed that Harish and Company was the front company to Park Lane Estate which led to a loss of Rs60 million to the national exchequer.

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