KARACHI: On Tuesday an accountability court remanded former ports and shipping minister Kamran Michael in judicial custody till Feb 20 in a case pertaining to alleged corruption in allotment of land belonging to the Karachi Port Trust Officers Cooperative Housing Society.
Mr. Kamran Michael, also a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, along with a businessman has been booked by the National Accountability Bureau for allegedly misusing his official authority and receiving millions of rupees in bribe for the allotment of three plots in the housing society.
He was brought to Karachi on five-day transitory remand granted following his arrest by NAB in Lahore on Feb 8.
The investigating officer produced him before the administrative judge of the accountability courts and requested for his 14-day physical remand for interrogation on Tuesday.
He educated the judge that during an inquiry into the illegal allotment of the land belonging to the KPT Officers Cooperative Housing Society it transpired that during his tenure as minister for ports and shipping, he had illegally allotted three residential and commercial plots.
He further mentioned that the suspect had received millions of rupees in bribes for issuing allotment orders in violation of the laws through his front—man Imran Ali, who is a businessman. The money was received through bank transactions through his front—man’s account, the IO said, claiming that NAB had collected evidence to prove its case.
The IO mentioned that the former minister was found involved in misusing his official authority, corruption and corrupt practices and thus his custody was required for further interrogation.
Though, the administrative judge, Dr. Sher Bano Karim, turned down the IO’s request for remand stating that he may be produced before the accountability court concerned where the matter related to alleged illegal lands’ allotment was already filed. Later, the former minister was produced before the Accountability Court-II Judge Aaliya Latif Unnar.
The IO emphasized that the present matter was different from the reference already pending trial; therefore, the suspect should be remanded in NAB’s custody since he was required to be interrogated in connection with the matter in hand. However, the judge turned down the IO’s request and sent Mr Michael to prison on judicial remand till Feb 20 directing to produce him on the next date.
The IO was also told to submit an inquiry report on the next date.
The NAB sources said that they would move an application before the trial court on Wednesday (present day) to seek permission to interrogate the former minister in jail in the present case.
The NAB has filed a reference against the office-bearers of the KPT Officers Cooperative Housing Society and private persons alleging that they were involved in illegal allotment of 16 plots of the society located on Mai Kolachi Road.
It had named the society’s then chairman, Ahmed Pervez Younusi, then secretary Gulab Khan and 21 others as accused.