Saturday, December 9, 2023

Pak Interior Minister Sanaullah appears before court in corruption case

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On Monday, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah appeared in Lahore High Court in connection with a lawsuit filed against him by the Punjab province’s Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

According to Geo News, the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC stayed a non-bailable warrant for Rana Sanaullah’s arrest in the Bismillah Housing Scheme case last week. The LHC called the director general of ACE Punjab in addition to the minister.

A special magistrate issued the warrants for failing to attend in an investigation into a corruption complaint brought against the minister. ACE Punjab attempted but failed to arrest the minister.

According to Geo News, the development happened as a result of a plea submitted on his behalf by the interior minister’s counsel advocate Razzaq A Mirza, who claimed that the ACE got the order by deception.

Earlier, Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab on Home Affairs, stated that Rana Sanaullah will be detained if he reaches Punjab.

His comments came after the ACE acquired a non-bailable warrant for Rana Sanaullah’s arrest. According to Geo News, the arrest warrant was valid until October 19.

Cheema also asked the Inspector General of Punjab Police to help ACE Punjab in the arrest of Sanaullah. He ordered that the arrest be carried out in accordance with the law.

On October 8, a special judicial magistrate of Rawalpindi issued the arrest warrant against Sanaullah in the Bismillah Housing Scheme case at the request of ACE Punjab to initiate the inquiry.

Earlier, Adviser to Punjab CM for Anti-Corruption Brigadier (retd) Musaddiq Abbasi told the media that Rana Sanaullah has been found guilty in the corruption case against him, according to Geo News.

“During the investigation, it has been revealed that in the opening ceremony of Bismillah Housing Society, Colony Kallar Kahar, Rana Sanaullah, who was provincial law minister at that time, participated along with his wife. The housing society’s owner gifted Sanaullah two plots measuring 10 kanals as a bribe,” the adviser had said and added the plots in question were transferred to Sanaullah by the society at a much lower than scheduled rate, according to dawn.

Abbasi had said these two plots were still in the possession of Sanaullah and his wife, which itself was “proof” that he had got these as a bribe by using his official position.

He said the case was registered in 2019 but the minister did not appear before ACE. “Sanaullah was re-summoned on Oct 6 but he did not appear before the ACE after which non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him,” he said.

According to the retired brigadier, the ACE is taking indiscriminate action against corrupt elements, and no one is above the law.

According to Sanaullah, he accepted two plots as a “bribe” from a “illegal housing society” called Bismillah Housing Scheme in the Chakwal district.

According to Abbasi, the ACE launched the land acquisition inquiry against the minister in 2017.

According to the investigation, the housing society’s owner presented two plots measuring 10 kanals as a bribe, as quoted by Geo News.

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