SHC dismiss petitions by accused in money laundering case against transfer

KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh and Justice Omar Siyal on Tuesday dismissed a number of identical petitions filed by accused involved in money laundering case challenging transfer of case from Banking Court at Karachi to an Accountability Court at Islamabad.

The bench heard counsel Farooq H Naek, Shaukat Hayat and others at length.

Farooq H Naek submitted that the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau is not empowered to take any decision. He could exercise his discretion only fairly and justly, he contended adding that acts, omissions, commission, alleged fraud do not attract section 9 of the NAO and that ant transfer could be made only under section 16 A of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO). He said that accused will badly suffer due to transfer of trial from Sindh to Islamabad.

Shaukat Hayat advocate in his arguments submitted that the banking court was bound to treat the challan as final and that it should have exercised its jurisdiction before allowing transfer.

The counsel for NAB rebutted the arguments and submitted that the chairman NAB was empowered to apply for transfer of the case. He said that besides Supreme Court in its order has mentioned the circumstances which prompted the transfer of case trial from Offences in Banking Circle at Karachi to Accountability Court at Islamabad.

The accused include co-chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Abdul Ghani Majeed and others who allegedly transfered billions of rupees to off shore.

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