Local court defers indictment proceeding of Dr Shahid Masood

PTV corruption case

ISLAMABAD  -   A local court Friday deferred the proceeding of indictment of anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood in the Pakistan Television (PTV) corruption case.

Special judge central adjourned the process of framing charge-sheet against the anchorperson after his counsels sought adjournment as they intended to approach the Islamabad High Court against this court’s order in which it had rejected their objections over some sections added in the challan submitted against Dr Shahid. Previously, his lawyers had challenged the sections that were added up in the challan saying that these sections that were added in the challan cannot be applied. The court had reserved the verdict upon the objections and later, announced its judgment by rejecting the same.

At this, the counsels representing Dr Masood requested the court to defer the indictment process as they intended to challenge this order of the court before the Islamabad High Court. Therefore, the court adjourned the proceedings till February 1.  FIA had arrested Masood from the premises of the Islamabad High Court on November 23 after his pre-arrest bail plea was rejected in the Pakistan Television corruption case. The anchorperson was later sent to Adiala jail on judicial remand.

He was an accused in the case related to alleged embezzlement in Pakistan Television (PTV) during his stint as the state-run PTV’s managing director and chairman. The petitioner is allegedly involved in embezzlement of Rs37 million while acquiring the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) media rights in 2008 for which an agreement that was signed with a fake company, namely M/S ISS.

The investigators in the case claimed that the amount had been released and it caused a loss of millions of dollars to PTV as the state-run television had failed to acquire the PCB’s media rights from 2008 to 2013. According to the prosecution, Dr Shahid had allegedly signed an agreement with a fake company to negotiate with the PCB for grant of rights to PTV for coverage of matches played in Pakistan. It said that because of the agreement PTV had to face heavy financial losses.

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