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Another SHC judge recuses himself from hearing Durrani’s bail plea

KARACHI, June 18 (WNP): Another judge of the Sindh High Court Tuesday recused himself from hearing the bail application of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in a corruption reference.

The National Accountability Bureau had arrested the provincial assembly speaker in February in a hotel in Islamabad for investigations, and later it filed a reference against him, his brother Agha Masihuddin Khan and other family members, including his wife, sons and daughters, as well as 13 others before an accountability court in Karachi.

The detained speaker through his lawyer had moved the SHC for bail while the brother of the applicant and some other suspects also approached the SHC to seek interim pre-arrest bail.

When the set of applications came up for hearing before a two-judge SHC bench comprising Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Muhammad Saleem Jessar on Tuesday, Justice Jessar recused himself from hearing the bail applications.

Therefore, the matter was referred to the chief justice of the SHC to fix it before another bench.

The bail application of Siraj Durrani was fixed before another division bench of the SHC comprising Justice Muhammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Omar Sial last week. However, Justice Agha had also recused himself from hearing the bail application.

NAB had arrested the provincial assembly speaker to interrogate him for allegedly accumulating movable and immovable assets beyond his known source of income, making 352 illegal appointments, embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the MPA Hostel and the new Sindh Assembly building as well as appointment of project directors for those projects.

Last month, NAB had filed a reference against Siraj Durrani and others and alleged that he accumulated assets worth over Rs1.61 billion through illegal means.

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