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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court (AC) on Monday deferred arguments over the acquittal applications filed by the accused in Kidney hills corruption case against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senator Saleem Mandviwalla and others due to absence of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor.

The Accountability Court-I judge, Muhammad Bashir, while hearing Kidney hills corruption reference regarding illegal allotment of plots of Overseas Cooperative Housing Society Limited (OCHSL) (Kidney Hill) against Mandviwalla and others, adjourned it till May 5 because of absence of NAB prosecutor Sohail Arif. The court sought argument over the acquittal application from both the parties during the next hearing.

The accused, Abdul Ghani Majeed, had filed acquittal application before the court under the National Accountability (second and third amendment) Ordinance 2021.

Mandviwalla and other accused had already challenged Kidney hills corruption reference under the National Accountability (third amendment) Ordinance, 2021. In his application, Mandviwalla adopted the stance that after the promulgation of the NAB third amendment ordinance, the case does not fall under the purview of NAB; therefore, he be acquitted.

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 justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

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, Triq Mehmood, Abdul Qayyum and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed.

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, incurred huge losses to the national exchequer.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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