Karachi: Ogra scam case: Pre-arrest bail given to AKD
KARACHI: Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, a prominent stockbroker and real estate tycoon, was on Thursday granted bail before arrest by the Sindh High Court in the proceedings against a former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority for corrupt practices. A division bench comprising Justices Faisal Arab and Farooq Ali Channa granted the interim bail in the sum of Rs1 million to the business tycoon till Oct 11. A.K. Dhedhi, represented by Advocate J.K. Dhedhi, had filed the application seeking grant of pre–arrest bail apprehending his arrest and harassment by the National Accountability Bureau in the Ogra scam case. He submitted in his application that the Ogra registrar had challenged the appointment of Tauqir Saqib as chief of the authority and his alleged corrupt practices in the Supreme Court. He submitted that the apex court had ordered NAB to initiate an investigation into the scam. The NAB chairman in his report on Sept 28 stated that Ogra notified an increase in the UFG (Unaccounted for Natural Gas) from five to seven per cent for 45 days, which benefited the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited.
The applicant stated that the NAB report alleged that the beneficiaries of the scam, including a Lahore–based Mirza and Minto company as well as a broker of the Karachi Stock Exchange, had not joined the investigation proceedings properly.
He said that he being a private shareholder of the SSGCL was being accused of benefiting from the scam despite the fact that the federal government, the holder of 80 per cent shares of the public concern, itself benefited from it.
The business tycoon stated that he neither benefited from the scam nor was he called by any investigation agency for questioning. He said he owned a large business group — A.K.D Group of Companies — and he was also extending his advisory services to the government.
He submitted that NAB was planning to file a reference and apprehended that his name might be illegally included in the case proceedings which would be against the principles of natural justice as no intimation or notice was issued to him by NAB for his clarification.
He sought interim protective bail in matter relating to corruption reference against former chairman of Ogra Tauqeer Sadiq till decision on the petition.
The bench granted interim pre-arrest bail to the applicant till Oct 11 subject to furnishing solvent surety in sum of Rs1 million and issued a notice to the deputy attorney general and the deputy prosecutor general of NAB for Oct 11.