SHC issues notices to Sharjeel Memon, LG Secy and others

KARACHI-Sindh High Court (SHC) on allegations of alleged embezzlement in public funds in Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) amounting to Rs 1.2 billion had issued notices to Sindh Minister for local government, archives and information Sharjeel Innam Memon and others. The notices issued thus had bound the Minister and other respondents to submit their explanations in the higher court on July 24 .

The higher court issued the notices on a petition file in the higher court by advocate Ahmed Ali Ghumro on behalf of his client, the petitioner KW&SB Infrastructure, Planning and Development Chief Engineer Abdul Raheem Khatri.

 The petitioner in his petition stated that government had invited tenders for Karachi Greater Sewerage Project, S-III, on Feb 23 this current year. Muhammad Ayub and Brothers, a contractor firm had submitted documents required with the KW&SB to obtain tender papers, which the KW&SB Procurement Committee had rejected on technical grounds. The said firm had challenged the decision of the said Procurement Committee in the higher court of Sindh upon which the higher court had on Jun 9, this current year directed the Procurement Committee to review the technical objections levelled on application of the said contractor firm and issue tender to the said contractor firm if found eligible.

Following orders of the higher court, the management of KW&SB had appointed Imtiaz Magsi as chief of a 6-member committee for reviewing the technical objections and a meeting of the thus constituted review committee had met on Jun 23, 2014. Imtiaz Magsi was in grade 19 but in violation to orders of the apex court, he was allowed to work in over pay scale in grade 20.

 None of the members of the review committee attended the meeting on Jun 26 and after issuing a bogus letter on behalf of the Project Director, the KW%SB management had furnished a report on S-III project to the said committee. Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Chairman Abdul Raheem Khatri, who was then working as the convener of the said committee was showed as Director in that bogus letter and without any approval from the legitimate authority, signatures of members of the said committee and without approval from the Accountant General of Sindh, a summary in violation to SSPRA rules 31-AB was forwarded to higher authorities for final approval.

The petitioner in his petition stated further that Sindh Minister for local government Sharjeel Innam Memon, who was also the Chairman of the water utility had approved the tender in favour of Muhammad Ayub and Brothers Company worth Rs 1.2 billion and suspended KW&SB Infrastructure and Planning and Development Chief Engineer Abdul Raheem Khatri without any prior show cause notice as per law. However, as per law, only Sindh Chief Minister had the powers to issue orders of suspension for the Chief Engineer of water utility.

The petitioner appealed to the higher court to order for a transparent enquiry of the said scam through the National Accountability Bureau.

The higher court then issued notices to Sindh local government Minister Sharjeel Innam Memon, Sindh Local Government Secretary, KW&SB S-III Project Director, Sindh Procurement Regulatory Authority and other respondents to submit their explanations in the higher court on Jul 24 this current month

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