SC seeks reply on PPP leader Khursheed’s bail plea

Petitioner’s lawyer says NAB causing unnecessary delay in case


Aqeel Afzal August 18, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court has sought a reply regarding delay in filing a supplementary reference on PPP leader Khursheed Shah's bail plea in the assets beyond means case.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Tuesday heard the bail plea of the PPP leader.

Petitioner Khursheed’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan took the position that the Sindh High Court on July 27 dismissed the bail plea.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) apprised the court that it would two weeks to file the supplementary reference.

“The statements of all the witnesses will be taken anew after filing the NAB supplementary reference.”
NAB had arrested Khursheed on September 18, 2019 and filed a reference against him on December 19, 2019.

Lawyer Makhdoom said that NAB framed the charge on November 30, 2020 after 14 months. “Bail is sought from the court on the basis of delay in trial.”

Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked when the hardship took place. “Is Khursheed Shah in solitary confinement?”

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said the SHC said that Khursheed Shah is in hospital and is not suffering from any serious illness.

“No one wants to be in the hospital, but the groundwork for the hardship is not clear.”
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the case on merit has already been heard. “NAB has not filed a reference in these two months. Coronavirus may also be the cause of the delay.”

Lawyer Makhdoom replied that NAB made serious allegations and is now unnecessarily delaying the case.

The apex court wrote in its order that according to the petitioner, NAB had assured the apex court on June 4 that it would file a supplementary reference in two weeks. However, NAB has not yet filed a supplementary reference against Khursheed.

So far, only five of the 44 witness statements have been recorded.

The PPP leader has been in custody for two years. The court, while seeking answers to the questions raised by the petitioner, adjourned the hearing of the case till after the summer vacation.

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