KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against former provincial minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar for alleged corruption and misuse of power.
SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh further directed NAB to present a report by March 20.
As the hearing of the case against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader went under way, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that Lanjar is not cooperating in the probe. Directing the former provincial minister to cooperate with the accountability watchdog, the bench remarked, “Respond to the questionnaire that NAB issues.”
The NAB prosecutor continued, “An inquiry against Lanjar is under way and further documents are being collected.”
“We have also traced Lanjar’s bungalow in Karachi’s Defence area which is worth Rs90 million and was not mentioned in his asset declaration form. During the inquiry, it was found that the sale agreement of the bungalow is in his name and but he has transferred the property in his father-in-law’s name,” the NAB prosecutor told the court.
“Lanjar through a front-man deposited public funds, including that of a medical college, in his own accounts,” the NAB prosecutor alleged.
Following this, the court expressed anger over the absence of Lanjar’s counsel, Farooq H Naek, from today’s hearing.
When junior counsel, Shiraz Rajpar, informed the court that Naek was busy in Islamabad, the SHC CJ remarked, “We highly respect Naek but who will run this case and how long will it go on for?”
The SHC CJ added, “Ask him and tell us when he can appear before the court, we cannot adjourn the case unnecessarily.”
After hearing the NAB prosecutor’s arguments, the court directed the accountability watchdog to file a reference against Lanjar and submit a report by March 20.