SHC seeks documents of alleged corruption in LNG contract

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday put off hearing of a petition challenging eligibility of newly elected Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi, directing the petitioner to come up along with documents in the next hearing.

A division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, was hearing the petition filed by justice helpline, praying the court to declare Abbasi ‘ineligible’ for PM office as it maintained that he was involved in huge corruption.

The petitioner submitted that Abbasi, who has also served as minister for petroleum and natural resources, remained main accused in almost Rs 200 billion corruption case for allegedly awarding liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract illegally.

The justice helpline’s Haris Ameen, the petitioner informed the judges that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated inquiry against Abbasi and other accused but the bureau had stopped that inquiry on the intervention of former PM Nawaz Sharif.

The petitioner’s counsel Advocate Nadeem Shaikh argued that how Abbasi, who could not run ministry for petroleum and natural resources in proper manner, can run country affairs as the chief executive of Pakistan.

Citing ministry of parliamentary affairs, Election Commission of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency and NAB as the respondents, the petitioner prayed to the court to declare that the Abbasi is not eligible for premiership as according to Article 62 & 63 he is not “SADIQ & AMEEN”.

The court was further requested to direct the NAB to re-investigate LNG corruption case on urgent basis and product final inquiry report before SHC. Besides, the joint investigation team should be formed to probe why the inquiry was stopped against Abbasi, the petitioner prayed to the court.

While directing the petitioner’s counsel to argue along with documents, the bench adjourned the hearing till August 10.

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