Reko-Diq Corruption Case: Court rejects bail plea of former BDA chairman

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The Account­ability Court of Quetta on Friday rejected a bail plea of Balochistan Development Authority’s (BDA) former chairman Ata Mohammad Jaffar in the Reko Diq corruption case filed by the anti-graft watchdog.

The National Accounta­bility Bureau (NAB) has accused Mr Jaffar of causing a loss of trillions of rupees to the national exchequer by his corruption, Dawn News reported.

Accountability Court Judge Munawar Ahmad Shahwani in his judgement said that although there was no bar for an accused to file an application under Section 265-K of the CrPC at any stage of the proceedings for his discharge/acquittal, and keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the case, the court got ample powers to acquit any accused at any stage.

However, the Supreme Court has declared the Cha­gai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement illegal and void ab initio and since the former BDA chairman had signed the CHEJVA agreement and the prosecution had levelled multiple allegations against him and without recording prosecution evidence it would cause prejudice to either side so the plea of acquittal from trial of the accused was hereby dismissed, the verdict said.

NAB Balochistan had filed a reference against 26 people, including the former BDA chairman on charges of illegally benefiting a foreign company to get personal gains, Dawn News report said.

It is to mention that the reference filed in the court, in year 1993, the CHEJVA agreement was signed between the BDA and an Australian company named Broken Hills Proprietary, in which the Australian company was illegally benefited by the BDA officials.

Later, the investigation team headed by DG NAB Operations and DG NAB Balochistan with the approval of Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal filed the reference in the accountability court of Quetta.

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