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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People Party (PPP)’s senator Saleem Mandviwalla on Wednesday challenged Kidney Hills corruption reference against him and others under the National Accountability (third amendment) Ordinance 2021.

The Accountability Court-I judge, Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case, issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit its reply regarding acquittal application filed by Mandviwalla through his counsel and adjourned hearing till March 2.

At the start of hearing, Mandviwalla’s counsel Barrister Qasim Nawaz Abbasi filed an application under the National Accountability (third amendment) Ordinance, 2021, seeking acquittal in illegal allotment of plots of Overseas Cooperative Housing Society Limited (OCHSL) (Kidney Hill) case. Following the promulgation of NAB third amendment ordinance, the case does not fall under the purview of NAB; therefore, his client be acquitted.

Abbasi also filed another application seeking removal of name of the accused, Nadeem Hakeem Mandviwala from the exit control list (ECL) as the accused is facing some health issues and wanted to go abroad for treatment. The court also sought comments from the NAB over Nadeem’s application.

NAB prosecutor Sohail Arif during the hearing argued that he will submit his argument with respect to Mandviwalla acquittal during the next hearing. The anti-graft body had filed the reference against Mandviwalla and others on January 13 before the Accountability Court. The reference was approved by the NAB’s executive board meeting (EBM) on December 29, last year, which was presided over by Chairman NAB former justice Javed Iqbal.

During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor submitted its reply regarding acquittal application of Muhammad Ajaz Haroon an accused in Kidney Hills corruption reference.

The other accused include, Nadeem Hakeem Mandviwala, Muhammad Ajaz Haroon, former secretary Overseas Cooperative Housing Society Karachi, and former chairman Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Abdul Qadir Shiwani private person, Triq Mehmood private person, Abdul Qayyum private person, and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed. Mandiviwalla and other accused appeared before the court.

According to the NAB, the accused on their involvement in illegal allotment of plots in the OCHSL Karachi and payment of those plots through fake bank accounts, which incurred huge losses to the national exchequer.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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