Corruption charges: SHC grants interim bail to Arts Council men

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) granted on Monday interim bail to three officials of Arts Council Pakistan (ACP) against the surety bond of Rs 500,000 for each for their alleged involvement in corruption.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is investigating into charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds against ACP President Aijaz Ahmed Farooqi, Executive director Nadeem Zafar Siddiqui and Secretary Mohammad Ahmed Shah.

A division bench comprising Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and Justice Saadat Bhatti granted the interim bail to the applicants with surety of sum of Rs 500,000 for each.

ACP officials filed bail pleas through their counsels, Akhtar Hussain and Mohammad Masood Ghani.

The lawyers from defence side argued that the election rivals of their clients had accused them of corruption and the allegations levelled against them were totally baseless. The lawyers stated: “Investigating of an embezzlement in Arts Council Karachi does not come within the ambit of NAB”.

After hearing the arguments, SHC bench approved the bail pleas of the applicants.

NAB personnel on 30th July had visited ACP to check records as according to NAB spokesperson: “It was no raid. It was just a pre-inquiry record-check on the basis of complaints”.

According to sources, NAB came into action after receiving complaint and sought records of the arts council on 30th July.

Khalil Ahmed Nainitalwala, a member of ACP and heads of a rival election group alleged that Secretary Mohammad Ahmed Shah was involved in huge embezzlement in the past decade.

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