Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court will today (Wednesday) resume hearing of a bail plea of a former general manager of the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML).

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will conduct hearing of the petition of Kamran Saeed who has challenged accusation of corruption levelled against him and sought bail before arrest in the matter of lifting of urea from the ports of the country to inland destinations.

The former general manager moved the court through his counsel Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan and nominated Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Director General NAB, Rawalpindi Region, Deputy Additional Director/Investigation officer NAB Muhammad Ghufran, and the State as respondents.

The petitioner is seeking from the court pre-arrest bail. He is a civil servant and joined NFML on deputation as senior manger on December 12, 2013. The NFML is a subsidiary of National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC) working under the administrative control of the ministry of industries and production.

The NFML is an institution that lifts and transport imported urea fertilizer from Gwadar and Karachi for distribution to authorised dealers across the country. He stated in the petition that that a huge quantity of urea fertilizer was lying on the Gwadar port under the open sky and in the godowns of NFML at Karachi. The said urea fertilizer was not being timely lifted, distributed and delivered to the farmers while the farmers of the country made outcries and held protests. When it came into the knowledge of the prime minister, he displayed his displeasure and grave concern by passing stringent directives to the authorities concerned to immediately lift the urea fertilizer lying on the ports and from the landing of the forthcoming vessels loaded with urea fertilizer.

The period from November to January every year is the period of Rabi Crop. The petitioner by dint of his hard work and strenuous efforts got lifted 572900.855 metric tons of urea fertilizer along with 19776 metric tons of fertilizer lying in open sky at Gwadar port and 93,000 metric tons of urea fertilizer stuck up in Karachi Hawks bay godowns at the time of taking charge as GM marketing/distribution. The petitioner transported the urea fertilizer in the designated godowns and warehouses through the cartage contractors across the country from the period commencing from 16-12-2013 to 27-05-2014,

He added that the ministry of industries and production government of Pakistan, filed a complaint to the NAB alleging therein that due to the decision of the increase in urea fertilizer prices by the competent authorities, the authorized dealers while allegedly in collusion with officials of the NFML, allegedly booked the purchase of the urea fertilizer by antedating and in excess of their quota to earn more profits causing loss to the public exchequer as the urea fertilizer is sold to the consumers on subsidised rates.

The petitioner continued that the NAB authorities of Lahore region arrested him on 3 November’2015 and other officials of NFML. The petitioner underwent the physical remand of the NAB authorities for 22 days and was sent to judicial lock-up. The petitioner filed a writ petition No.8524/2016 in the Honourable Lahore High Court, Lahore for the grant of post arrest bail. A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court ordered for the release of the petitioner on bail on April 11, 2016.

He contended that the officials of the NAB Rawalpindi/Islamabad region started the investigation regarding the 23232.4 metric tons of deficient supply of urea fertilizer lifted from the ports and transported to upcountry by the Carriage/Cartage Contractors. The NAB authorities of Respondent No.2 threatened the petitioner to arrest him and array him as an accused of being allegedly responsible for causing the shortage of 23232.4 metric tons of urea fertilizer.

Advocate Sardar Asmat stated in the petition that the petitioner was arrested on 3rd November 2015 and since then, he is behind the bars. “We are of the view that the petitioner may be guilty of some negligence while performing his official duty but available material is quite deficient in order to prove the guilt of the petitioner beyond any hint of doubt.

 There are reasonable grounds to believe that his case requires further inquiry and probe which is sufficient to make a case of his release on post arrest bail,” he added.  Therefore, he prayed to the court that the instant writ petition may be accepted by granting bail before arrest to the petitioner.