Archive for July, 2012

Corruption cases: fresh notices issued to Sharif brothers

By Recorder Report

An Accountability Court (AC) on Saturday issued fresh notices to the Sharif brothers and other members of family to respond to a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) application that had sought reopening of three corruption references against them.

Special Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq issued fresh notices to PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and others before he adjourned the hearing in connection with three corruption references: ‘Hudaibiya Paper Mills,’ ‘Assets Beyond Known Sources of Income’ and ‘Ittefaq Foundry (Wilful Loan Default)’ till August 6 after no accused appeared before the court.

Akram Shaikh, the counsel for the Sharif brothers, requested the court to adjourn the hearing of NAB’s application against his clients to an unspecified date. However, the judge put off the hearing of Hudaibiya Paper Mills till September 15, 2012 on the request of Sheikh, who apprised the court that he would only contest the reference on behalf of the Sharif family.

The counsel argued that the NAB could not approach the accountability court for reopening of the cases after the Lahore High Court (LHC) stopped the federal government from proceeding on these cases in October 2011. He said that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif along with other accused filed a petition in LHC in 2011 to get the cases quashed as the NAB had no plausible ground to proceed against them.

He further argued that the accountability court could not initiate proceedings until LHC had not decided the petition. He accused the PPP leadership of motivating the NAB to move this application in a trial court to politically victimising the Sharif brothers.

Chaudhry Riaz, NAB’s Additional Prosecutor General, however, told the court that the NAB was not responsible for the delay in reopening the three corruption references against the Sharif brothers. He added that the NAB had earlier filed an application to seek revival of references – in 2007 and in 2010. However, he added, an objection was raised that the application was not duly signed by the NAB chairman – a slot that remained vacant for some time.

He added that this application filed on July 18 was duly signed by the Chairman NAB after the NAB officials observed that sufficient evidence existed against the accused to try them in an accountability court. The court directed the NAB to provide the copies of its application to the lawyers representing the accused and directed the defence to file their written response to a question whether cases could be opened in presence of high court’s stay order.

July 29, 2012 Posted Under: News update   Read More

Prime Minister’s Rs300cr ‘healing touch’ to victims of Assam riots

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs300 crore package for the riot-hit districts of Assam and promised a probe into the violence between Bodos and immigrant settlers.

‘A proper inquiry will be held into the tragic circumstances. We will address the causes of the conflict. If it is instigated, the guilty will be punished,’ the Prime Minister said in Kokrajhar after meeting the riot-affected people in relief camps.

‘This (ethnic violence) should not have happened. This is a blot on our nation,’ Singh told reporters soon after his arrival in the state.

The Prime Minister said the Centre would work closely with the state government to provide security to all affected areas so that people can go back to their houses with the knowledge that their lives and livelihood are secure.

‘We are one people and one nation and we must live together. We must restore peace and calm throughout the area and I ask all of you to work with the government to ensure this,’ Singh said, adding that a healing touch was the need of the hour.

Out of the Rs300 crore package, Rs100 crore would be for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people in the six districts, Rs100 crore as special plan assistance for development programmes in the affected areas and another Rs100 crore under the Indira Awas Yojana.

As for individual assistance, Rs30,000 each would be given to those whose houses were completely damaged and Rs20,000 to those whose houses were partially burnt, Singh said.

The Prime Minister said Rs2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of those who died and Rs50,000 to the injured.
The death toll increased to 58 on Saturday as six bodies were recovered from Chirang and Kokrajhar districts.

One body was recovered from the banks of the Kanibhur river in Chirang district while five bodies were found in Durabari village in Kokrajhar district.

On July 25, a relief camp in Durabari was torched by miscreants around 3 am and all the 5,000 inmates fled.

‘They hurled grenades at our homes and fired indiscriminately. They wanted to drive us away from our villages. We could identify four of them and they are former members of the Bodo Liberation Tigers,’ Naushad Ali said.

Ali, 28, is a jawan in the army who came home in Durabari on leave. Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi appeared to take a U-turn on the Centre’s delay in deploying the army.

When reporters asked the Prime Minister about Gogoi’s charge against the Centre, the CM almost snatched the camera from journalists and screamed: ‘I never said that.’

July 29, 2012 Posted Under: News update   Read More

PM rebukes Malik over not handling visa scandal properly

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister has sought reply from Interior Minister Rehman Malik over arrest of NADRA employees.
While showing his resentment, PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf consulted the Ministry for Interior if the visa scandal was fake and fabricated, why the NADRA employees had been arrested.

The Prime Minister said that it should be made clear as who had halted NADRA chairman from issuing a statement to the media while giving his explanation.

The PM and his Cabinet also charged that the Minister for the Interior in consultation with the FIA handled the issue with obnoxious way. He also said that the national institutions caused defamation to country more than the Sun as they arrested six girls of noble and gentle families.

According to sources, the NADRA had achieved contract of $ 165 million in Kenya by beating British companies which later posed this scandal in order to defame the NADRA.

Nadra chairman also has revealed in the cabinet meeting that only photo of the identity card of Muhammad Ali Asad had been updated.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directed that if such scandal comes on surface in future, the Prime Minster would not only be informed about this but his permission would also be sought in this regard.

July 29, 2012 Posted Under: News update   Read More

NAB to record statement of Malik Riaz’s kin

ISLAMABAD: A joint investigation team (JIT) of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday decided to record the statement of Salman Ahmed, son-in-law of property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain, in the corruption case against Arsalan Iftikhar.

According to a statement, Ahmed was one of the relevant persons privy to or acquainted with the facts and transactions related to the case. His role in this regard would be examined from all aspects. The JIT would determine its next course of action after recording statements of all persons concerned and verification of certain record. Evidence and reports from overseas authorities have already been sought.

In the first hearing, Riaz had sought further time to file additional documents and information. The JIT would re-summon him. The team has served notices on all persons concerned for Monday.

July 29, 2012 Posted Under: News update   Read More