Karachi: Charge-sheet against former judge filed after 10 yrs
KARACHI: As reported by the Dawn News on Saturday, the anti-corruption establishment on Friday filed a final charge-sheet against a former judicial officer and three others in a case registered against them over a decade ago.
Four suspects —then senior civil judge-VII/rent controller (east) Anis Ali Mohammad Khatri, his clerk of court (COC) Mohammad Aslam Khan, an employee of a private bank at its Shershah branch, Nizamuddin, and a private person, Jahangir Khan — have been booked for misappropriating the rent amount of over Rs1 million which the court had received from different parties in rent and other civil suits in 1999.
Inspector Ali Mohammad of the anti-corruption establishment (ACE), through public prosecutor Arif Sitai, filed the final charge-sheet in court, showing all the suspects as absconders.
While accepting the charge-sheet, Judge Rashida Asad of the special anti-corruption court, Karachi, issued warrants for the arrest of the suspects and directed the ACE to arrest and produce them in court.
According to the charge-sheet, during the annual inspection conducted by the district and sessions judge (east), on Oct 11, 1999 the senior civil judge pointed out that the COC of his court in collusion with one Jahangir had opened two accounts in as many banks and embezzled the rent amount to the tune of Rs1.085 million by showing factitious cheques and had drawn the amount from the court account maintained at the City Courts branch of the National Bank of Pakistan.
The matter was reported to the Sindh High Court and on Oct 12 the senior civil judge had given a verbal assurance that he was trying his best to recover the misappropriated amount from the COC and sought time, requesting that the matter might not be reported for a criminal action.
Later, he deposited Rs250,000 only while the COC returned an amount of Rs75,000 through his friend, it added.
The charge-sheet stated that the balance amount of Rs756,020 was not recovered as, according to the civil judge, the COC had refused to deposit the remaining amount.
During the course of investigations, the statements of nine witnesses under Section 161 of the criminal procedure code were recorded in which they fully supported the case of the prosecution.
Assigning a role to the COC in the commissioning of the alleged offence, the investigation officer (IO) of the case stated that the COC had misappropriated the government money by writing 12 cheques for different amounts, which were signed by the senior civil judge.
The alleged embezzlement was made in collusion with the judge who signed all the bogus cheques. Jahangir Khan facilitated the accused by opening bogus accounts in his name and a fake enterprise in two different banks, he added.
According to the charge-sheet, Nizamuddin, being an assistant in a private bank, took Jahangir to the bank and furnished his introduction required for opening a bank account.
After completion of the investigations, Inspector Arif Khan Ghori of the ACE issued a confidential final report and the matter was discussed at the meeting of the anti-corruption committee-I on June 7, 2010, which approved the recommendations, the charge-sheet concluded.
The case (FIR 14/2000) was registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker merchant or agent) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 on behalf of the state on Feb 22, 2000.
However, the ACE did not cite any reason behind an inordinate delay in filing the final charge-sheet.