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KARACHI: An accountability court on Saturday deferred indictment of MQM-P leader Rauf Siddiqui and eight other accused until March 18, in illegal recruitment reference.

Siddiqui is accused of illegal appointments in the Sindh Small Industries Corporation (SSIC) during his tenure as provincial Commerce and Industry minister in an accountability reference.

The MQM-P leader appeared before the court, while a co-accused Ayaz remained absent in the court hearing.

The indictment was deferred against till March 18, owing to absence of the co-accused.

The court ordered all accused of the case to ensure their presence in the next hearing of the reference.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) says that several illegal appointments were made in the Industries department in 2011, when Rauf Siddiqui was the minister which caused a loss of Rs 420 million to the provincial exchequer.

Siddiqui served as the minister of commerce and industry from year 2008 to 2013.

He has also served as Sindh Home minister, Excise and Taxation minister and Culture and Tourism minister in previous governments.

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