Karachi: Two loan defaulters jailed for 10 years
KARACHI: An accountability court on Thursday sentenced two industrialists to 10 years in prison in a corruption reference. The court found Anwar Ahmed Rajwani and his nephew Salman Karim Rajwani guilty of getting financial facility from the National Bank of Pakistan in 1985 in order to extend their garments industry but failed to return the money.
The judge, Arshad Noor Khan, of the Accountability Court-I, pronounced the verdict after recording evidence of witnesses and final arguments from both sides.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs175 million each and in case of non-payment the convicts would undergo an additional two-year imprisonment.
The court also declared the convicts disqualified for holding any public office or to obtain loan from any bank, financial institution, government department, statutory body or any authority established or controlled by the government.
The court in its verdict observed that after appraisal of the whole evidence available on record, it had been established that the quantum of outstanding dues against the accused in the present reference remained undisputed since from the initial stage of the proceedings till execution of the voluntary return agreement.
Admittedly, the accused had wilfully defaulted on repayment of the money for more than 25 years and did not return the loan outstanding against them, it added.
The court further ruled that the accused borrowed the money from the NBP in 1985 and subsequently at the time of expiry limit of repayment, they continuously applied for extensions and enhancement of the facility on each and every occasion.
But the accused brought no evidence on record to show that they paid any instalment of such a huge amount, it added.
As per conditions set by high court while determining a borrower to be a wilful defaulter, they seemed to have been fulfilled in the present case in which the accused have admittedly borrowed the money, but did not pay any instalment despite notices served on them by the bank, besides the accused also violated the voluntary return agreement, it added.
“In such state of affairs I have no hesitation in my mind to hold that the accused are wilful defaulters in repayment of the finance facility under Section 5(r) read with section 9 (a) (viii) punishable under Section 10 (a) of the ordinance 1999. The prosecution has, therefore, fully succeeded in brining the guilt of accused at home”, the verdict concluded.
According to the reference, the accused got a financial facility of Rs10 million from the NBP in May 1985 and in May 1994 they applied for sanction of further financial facility up to December 1994.
It further stated that the accused did not repay the money and committed constant defaults on repayment of the same and whenever the time of repayment came to an end they used to apply for rescheduling of it and finally an amount of Rs171.005 million dues accrued against them on January 1997.
Thus, the matter was referred to the State Bank of Pakistan which served legal notice to the accused for repayment, but again they failed to return the defaulted money and finally the case passed on to the National Accountability Bureau and during an investigation the matter was settled between both the parities by executing a voluntary return agreement in 2006. Even after execution of the argument the accused did not repay the loan and NAB filed a reference (14/2010) against them.
Both the accused were present before the court on bail and following the pronouncement of the order they were taken into custody and remanded to prison to serve out the awarded sentence.