Karachi: Education official faces charge of Rs177m in corruption
KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court rejected on Monday the plea for stay against the suspension orders of Abdul Wahab Abbasi, an official of the education department, who along with another accused faces the charge of swindling 177.342 million rupees. The bench comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui, however, directed the department to complete the inquiry within 30 days.
Earlier, Naeem Iqbal advocate, counsel for petitioner Abdul Wahab Abbasi, maintained that charges were brought up against the petitioner after a high court bench passed orders on February 2, 2012 for an impartial inquiry.
The petitioner moved the court, maintaining that he has served the Education and Literacy Department for 20 long years and also worked as EDO Education, Karachi. The petitioner said that he is eligible for promotion to Grade 20 but promotion was denied to him on political grounds and he was sidelined.
The petitioner said that unfounded accusations were levelled against him once the high court issued orders on his earlier petition.
The counsel appealed to the court to stay the operation of suspension orders on the ground that such orders would come in the way of inquiry adversely to the interest of the petitioner.
The bench, however, refused the request for grant of stay and instead in its order said that “inquiry shall be conducted and completed in a month’s time strictly in accordance with law and principle of natural justice following all formalities.”
The bench also ordered that “inquiry report shall be elaborate and based on ‘hard evidence.’
The court ordered that report shall be submitted within a month’s time and that suspension orders may not come in the way of implementing orders of the court.
Earlier Assistant Advocate General, Adnan Karim Memon, opposed the plea by petitioner on the ground that according to preliminary inquiry conducted by Secretary Agriculture, it was found that petitioner Abdul Wahab Abbasi and co–accused Additional Director Sikandar Ali Mallah submitted bogus and fake bills of rupees 177.342 million to the Accountant General Office.
During inquiry it was found that they entered into agreement with Sindh Graduates Association after advertisements in three dummy newspapers and swindled the amount released by federal government for different schemes.
Interestingly the entire amount was utilized within few weeks of issuance of DROs in April or May 2010. Naheed Durrani, the then Secretary Education brought the embezzlement to the notice of the Senior Sindh Minister (Education) and recommended investigations by Anti Corruption Establishment. Both the accused were suspended on March 17, 2012.