ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday rejected the applications submitted by former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, seeking A-class and extra facilities in jail during judicial remand in the fake accounts case.
Judge Muhammad Bashir heard their pleas.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Deputy Prosecutor General (DPG) Sardar Muzafar Abbasi pleaded before the court that the petitions were not maintainable as the accused should approach inspector general (IG) prisons, Punjab - a relevant forum for their requests.
He apprised the court that the government had removed the rule of A and B classes in prisons and had replaced it with 'better class.'
However, one had to request the IG prisons to avail this facility, who was bound to refer the matter to the home department for a decision.
Abbasi informed the court that the prisoners of 'better class' were also provided facilities like common prisoners but they could avail the extra facilities at their own expenditures.
He prayed the court to dismiss the applications of the accused as this matter was not relevant to the court.
Earlier, Zardari's counsel Sardar Latif Khosa contended before AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir that since his client had been holding the President Office and currently he was member parliament, the Constitution allowed him extra facilities for a lifetime.
The former president was suffering from cardiac problems and this court had also allowed him to keep an attendant during NAB custody, he argued.
Farouk H Naek argued that this was not an administrative issue, rather it was the authority of the court to grant his clients additional facilities in jail.
He stated, "We are not begging from the administration but demanding our rights in accordance with the Constitution."
He said Talpur had held different offices, including an elected MNA’s, twice the mayor’s and currently she was also a member of the Sindh Assembly.
He also prayed the court to grant a transit remand to Talpur so that she could attend the Sindh Assembly session.
The NAB DPG objected to the request and pleaded that there was a different mechanism for transit remand and the accused could not file an application in the court in this regard.
The speaker used to issue orders for the Home Department for this purpose which was enough for the authority concerned, he said, arguing that this request was also non-maintainable.
He said that the suspect had submitted no request to the Home Department in this regard.
Senior Pakistan Peoples Party leadership, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai and Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza are among those being investigated in cases related to the fake accounts scandal. The matter is also being heard by the Supreme Court.
The case was transferred to Islamabad after a Karachi banking court accepted NAB’s transfer request filed following the Supreme Court judgement forwarding the joint investigation team (JIT) report to the bureau with directions to investigate and file references.
Zardari remained in NAB’s remand till August 16 when the accountability court sent him to judicial remand after NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi apprised the court of new developments in the case.
Consequently, he was moved to Adiala Jail. Talpur, on the other hand, was shifted from Islamabad’s Polyclinic Hospital to Adiala Jail at midnight on August 12.
On August 19, the defence counsel lamented before the court that his clients were ill-treated in jail.
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