Warrants out for arrest of Sindh education secretary, officials

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KARACHI: An anti-corruption court on Friday issued warrants for the arrest of Sindh education secretary Fazlullah Pechuho and others after a direct complaint was lodged against them on corruption charges.

Judge Gulshan Ara Chandio issued bailable warrants against Mr Pechuho, a brother-in-law of former president and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, education department section officer Abdul Jabbar and junior clerk Iftikhar Hussain and directed the anti-corruption establishment to arrest and produce them in court till March 9.

Earlier, Mohammad Mithal moved the court to lodge a direct complaint against the respondents after the anti-corruption establishment did not entertain his application. He submitted that he was appointed a primary schoolteacher in 1992 and promoted to high schoolteacher in 2013. But the education secretary and other respondents suspended 405 teaching and non-teaching staff, including him, the applicant argued, saying that he came under suspension twice. He alleged that Mr Pechuho in connivance with Mr Jabbar and Mr Hussain demanded a bribe of Rs200,000 for his reinstatement and he paid the amount in the presence of some witnesses at a restaurant near the Sindh secretariat.

He said that both education department employees had again demanded a bribe, but he refused and thus the respondents issued him a show-cause notice and extended threats through text messages on the mobile phone.

The applicant submitted that he then approached the South district and sessions court for the registration of an FIR against them. On Dec 30, 2014 the court ordered the anti-corruption establishment, Sindh, director to take action against them in accordance with the law, but to no avail.

In the meantime, the respondents reinstated the suspended employees after taking a huge bribe from them, he alleged.

The applicant said he came to know that the education secretary and others promoted some education department officials after receiving a bribe and managed fake and bogus documents.

At a previous hearing, the court appointed an officer of the anti-corruption establishment to hold an inquiry into the allegations. Later, the inquiry report was placed before the court.

After recording the statement of the applicant under Section 200 (examination of complainant) of the criminal procedure code, the court took cognizance and registered a direct complaint against Mr Pechuho and two others under Sections 161 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 5 (2) the Prevention of Corruption Act-II, 1949.