Dr Asim’s departure for London without permission irks judge

KARACHI (Sarzameen News)- An accountability court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain’s going abroad for treatment without seeking its permission.

Dr Asim, who is also a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardary, flown to London on Sunday to undergo disc replacement surgery there.

During the hearing, the judge seized with the hearing of Rs 462 billion corruption reference against the PPP leader became visibly irked when he was informed that the suspect had left the country.

How could a suspect leave the country before seeking no-objection certificate from the court, he questioned and sent reference against the suspect to the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court in this regard.

Former Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain left for London via an international flight on Sunday to undergo medical treatment.

Suffering setbacks time and again, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain’s name was finally removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) after Supreme Court on August 29 granted him permission to travel abroad for a month to undergo medical treatment while hearing his plea.

Asim’s name had been on the ECL since November 2015 for facing corruption references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He had then petitioned High Courts to have travel restrictions on him removed so that he could undergo disc replacement surgery in London, as he said, the treatment of such an ailment was not possible in Pakistan.

Dr Asim’s counsel, Barrister Latif Khosa had contended that his name was placed on the ECL without any plausible reason only to deter his client from undergoing medical treatment abroad.

It merits mention here that Dr Asim was granted bail in two references filed by NAB on March 29 by Sindh High Court (SHC) on the medical ground.

Earlier, the anti-graft watchdog had said that the former petroleum minister had allegedly misused his powers by getting plots allotted fraudulently, encroaching state land for expansion of Dr. Ziauddin Hospital/ money laundering, kickbacks, illegal gains, receiving commission through fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment of gas for exploitative price and defrauding people in the name of charity hospital.

The NAB had alleged that he had deprived public exchequer of Rs 462 billion.

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