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Pesco official denied bail in corruption case

Bureau Report 2015-01-20
PESHAWAR: A local court on Monday denied bail to a senior official of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company in a corruption case.

Pesco chief engineer (commercial) Pervez Akhtar Shah was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency on the charge of receiving bribes for supplying the concessional electricityto Afghanrefugee campsinKhyberPakhtunkhwa.

While rejecting Pervez Akhtar`s ball plea, special judge of anti-corruption (central) Ishtiaq khan observed that prima facie, the case`s available details connected the petitioner with the commission of the offence and therefore, he didn`t deserve to be freed on ball.

The judge had heard arguments of both parties last Saturday and reserved its order, which was pronounced on Monday.

The FIA arrested the petitioner on Jan 13 in light of an inquiry conducted on a complaint of the elders of several Afghan refugee camps, including Haji Dost Mohammad.

The elders alleged that the petitioner had received Rs13 million from them on the pretext of giving it to a front man of then president, Asif Zardari, in 2012 for restoring the `splitting tariff,` concessional rate of electricity.

The lawyer for the petitioner said his client was falsely implicated in the case as there was no evidence of the bribe charge against him.

He said his client, who recently served as the Pesco chief executive until recently, was a BPS-20 officer and that the inquiry against him was conducted by an inspector of FIA, who was much junior to him.

The lawyer said as the inspector was in a lower grade, he had no authority to arrest his client without prior sanction from the government.

Investigation ofñcer Shahid Ilyas told the court that the petitioner was arrested after proper investigation and that the case was registered against him under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He said since the arrival of Afghan refugees, electricity had provided to their camps at `splitting tariff.

Shahid Ilyas, however, said around two years ago, the then government decided to abolish that concessional tariff for refugee camps and therefore, they were bound to pay normal electricity bills.

He said the petitioner had asked the representatives of different camps of Afghan refugees to pay him Rs13 million for payment to a front man of the then president, Asif Zardari, for restoring splitting tariff for their camps, but despite getting money, he didn`t restore the old tariff system.

The investigation officer said the refugees had deposited money in the bank account of a relative of the petitioner and that the petitioner had asked a Pesco superintendent to accompany them to the bank.