KARACHI: Anti-terrorism court (ATC) today given former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody.

As Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto began with the proceedings of the case, NAB filed a plea seeking custody of the accused.

On the other hand, Sindh Police has formally given a clean chit to the former federal minister while Rangers have put up a fight to nab the alleged culprit. Dr Hussain was presented before anti-terrorism court (ATC) after his 14-day physical remand in police’s custody expired today.

The police filed a report that nullified Rangers’ stance and freed the alleged culprit of terror charges. On the other hand, Rangers law officer fought for Dr Hussain’s indictment and presented evidences in the court.

Both the law enforcement agencies will ‘wrestle’ in the court from now on in Dr Hussain s case. However, the alleged culprit seemed relaxed and content with the verdict as he walked out of the courtroom.

The paramilitary force’s law officer stated that police Inspector General (IG) Ghulam Haider Jamali changed law officer appointed in the case without prior informing to the complainant. The investigation officer is favouring the accused, he added.

The Rangers law officer also said that Dr Hussain has already confessed of providing shelter to terrorists before the joint investigation team (JIT). How a district police officer (DSP) could reject a report put forth by seven senior officials of the JIT, he added.

In his statement, Dr Hussain refused to accept that he ever made any confession. He said that receipts of medical treatment of terrorists which were presented in the court were fake.

Speaking before the court, Dr Hussain said that he supports the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif and the National Action Plan. He said he also supports the currently ongoing Karachi operation.

Rangers official continued his argument and said that the investigation officer of Sindh Police attempted to ‘be his own court’ and dissolved terror charges. Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto asked the police representative when a comprehensive report would be filed to which he replied December 24. 

Rangers will provide evidences against the accused in the forthcoming hearing. The former federal minister is accused of treating criminals and terrorists with head money in his hospital. The groups which used to get medical treatment in Hussain’s Dr Ziauddin Hospital included Lyari gang war’s Siraj Comrade group among others.

Earlier in November a case was registered against Hussain in North Nazimabad Police Station as 90-day remand had expired. The three-month remand was acquired by the Rangers after he was arrested from Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC) office.

After registration of the case, the court had given Hussain in Sindh Police’s custody for 14 days. The apprehension was a controversial development since the start of a targeted operation in Karachi in September 2013. Meanwhile, the accountability bureau had launched investigations against the former federal minister.

The accountability body has reportedly launched investigations into references against Dr Hussain for illegal affiliation of colleges with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, issuance of licence for dozens of CNG stations and other corrupt practices.