NAB moves SC against Shehbaz’s bail

Bureau challenges LHC verdict; says its overlooked certain set principles

Aqeel Afzal March 18, 2019
Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has challenged the Lahore High Court (LHC)’s decision of granting bail to former Punjab chief minister and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme case.

The anti-corruption watchdog in its appeal to the Supreme Court has maintained the high court did not take into account the principles of bail and misuse of authority by Shehbaz when allowing him bail.

In the petition, NAB has also added the former chief minister while abusing his authority transferred the Ashiyana Housing Scheme project from Punjab Development Land Company to LDA and later handed over the project to Bismillah Engineering through LDA DG Ahad Cheema under the garb of private-public partnership.

It should be noted here that Bismillah Engineering Company was a rebranded name for the Paragon Project.  The project was given to private-public partnership with a view to award 2,000 kanal of land to the Paragon Company as the location of its project was adjacent to the Ashiyana project.

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The bureau has further argued that the purpose of the whole exercise was to assure land for Paragon project for which Shahbaz abused his power and indulged in all illegal measures through his confidante Cheema.

Similarly, NAB has further maintained the LHC in its decision did not take into account established rules of the top court while all measures of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president were also ignored. NAB further maintained that none of its suspect could be given bail as per its rules while the LHC decision not only granted bail to the suspect but also engaged in an extensive discussion on the merits of the case.

Consequently, the bureau has requested the apex court to suspend the LHC decision granting bail to Shehbaz.

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