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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Courts on Thursday adjourned the hearings of Thatta water supply and sugarcane subsidy cases following the request of the defence counsel to adjourn the trial of these cases till the enforcement of new NAB law recently passed by the parliament.

The Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Ali Asghar, hearing the sugarcane subsidy case against Khawaja Anwer Majeed and others, adjourned its hearing till July 7 after the defense counsel requested the court to adjourn it till the enforcement of the new NAB law.

Wasim Javed, prosecutor National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Arshad Tabraiz, counsel for accused appeared before the court.

Tabraiz said that the Parliament has passed a new NAB Amendment Bill and forwarded it to the president for his assent and publishing in gazette notification.

He requested the court to adjourn the case till the enforcement of the new law.

The accused, in the case, included Abdul Ghani Majeed, Khawaja Mustafa Zulqarnain, and others.

The Sindh government through the provincial cane commissioner paid Rs 3.9 billion to various sugar mills for onward payment to genuine sugarcane growers as subsidy on account of the supply of sugarcane for the season 2014-2015.

An investigation was conducted against eight sugar mills owned by the Omni Group of Anwar Majeed, and his four sons, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Nimr Majeed, Mustafa Zulqarnain Majeed, and Ali Kamal Majeed.

The investigation revealed that out of Rs 728.18 million subsidy was granted to eight sugar mills of Omni Group, an amount of Rs 346 million had been allegedly misappropriated, in connivance with senior employees by showing their low-paid staff as sugarcane growers.

Meanwhile, Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the hearing of Thatta water supply case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others. During the hearing, Tabraiz counsel for the co-accused Minahil Majeed sought an adjournment to submit an application in light of the new laws.

The court approved his request and adjourned the hearing of the case till June 27.

At the start of the hearing, Zardari’s counsel’s associate filed an application seeking one-day exemption for his client to appear before it which the court approved.

The anti-graft body nominated Zardari and 13 other suspects in the supplementary filed in connection with Thatta water supply scam.

The bureau had not nominated Zardari in the interim reference and Ashfaq Leghari and incharge Naudero House Nadeem Bhutto in the interim reference.

In the interim reference, the bureau has nominated 13 accused including Ejaz Ahmed Khan, former secretary of Special Initiative Department of Sindh; Hassan Memon, project director/chairman of the procurement committee for the water supply scheme, Thatta, members of the committee namely, Ali Akbar Abro, Aijaz Ahmed Memon, Athar Nawaz Durrani, Abdul Haleem Memon, Mohammad Farrukh Khan, Mohammad Ramzan, Mohammad Siddiq Sulemani, and Zeeshan Hasan Yousaf, a private contractor Harish, CEO Omni Group Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, and Manahil Majeed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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