The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted PPP leader Khursheed Shah’s bail plea in an assets beyond means case, more than two years after he was arrested.
The apex court directed Shah to submit bail bonds worth Rs10 million as the surety against his bail. Justice Umar Atta Bandial directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to continue its investigations but not keep the PPP leader permanently in jail.
Shah was arrested by the anti-corruption watchdog’s Sukkur chapter on September 18, 2019.
Back in July 2021, the Sindh High Court dismissed a petition seeking Shah’s request for bail.
Why was he arrested?
According to the top anti-corruption watchdog, Shah acquired assets worth some Rs700 million on the names of his frontmen allegedly through ill-gotten money.
NAB’s top officials probing the matter claimed to acquire several important records/files from the Sukkur district administration, where revenue officers shared important details, which led ultimately to Shah’s arrest from Islamabad.
“We have acquired details of all assets and property on Mr Shah, his family’s names and his front-men,” a senior NAB official had said. The NAB official had claimed that Sukkur NAB team got access to documents, which revealed that Shah through his friend acquired New Taj Hotel, Shikarpur road Sukkur, worth Rs250 million.
A petrol pump worth some Rs90 million at Rohri Road in the name of Qasim Shah (benamidar/frontman), another NAB official claimed.
A bungalow in the name of Pappu Mahar (benamidar/frontman) on government land was also allegedly built by Syed Khursheed through kickbacks, revealed a senior NAB official.
A hotel named Gulf Hotel was also constructed by the PPP stalwart in Rohri in the name of (benamidar/frontman) where money was arranged through kickbacks by the local contractors, the official added on condition of anonymity.
NAB officials further claimed that Shah as MNA also misused his authority got huge contracts for his partners and agents including M/s Umar Jan and Com, Nawab and Com, etc in interior Sindh where millions of rupees were embezzled.
NAB is also probing Khursheed’s properties, which were located in Sukkur, Rohri and Karachi, NAB officials revealed. Mukesh Flour Mills, Glamour Bungalow, Junejo Flour Mills and 83 other properties are registered against the names of Shah’s alleged frontman, Pehlaj Rai, they further revealed.
Officials further claimed that some 11 properties were registered in the name of another frontman, Lado Mall, and 10 properties are registered in the name of Hussain Soomro. Officials further claimed that more high profiles arrests are also expected in Sindh. These arrests would link to this case, they added.