A minefield: Former minister in NAB’s custody for five more days

PHC restrains arrest of widower of deceased woman involved in scam

Our Correspondent July 23, 2015

PESHAWAR: An accountability court has granted National Accountability Bureau Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa five more days to hold former minister for minerals Nawabzada Mehmood Zeb Khan. The minister was arrested along with nine others on July 9 for their alleged involvement in illegal allotment of phosphate reservoirs to a school teacher.

The accused were produced before judge Asim Imam on Wednesday after which the court handed them over to NAB.

According to NAB, Zeb and the rest of the accused abused their authority and abetted the allotment of 500 acres of land with phosphate deposits to a schoolteacher, Rukshana Javed.

She is said to have illegally excavated phosphate in collaboration with Ehtishamul Mulk who is a cousin of Mehmood Zeb. The estimated to the national exchequer is Rs360 million.

A Peshawar High Court bench of Justice Nisar Hussain Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth has restrained NAB from arresting Rukhsana Javed’s husband.

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for Rukhsana’s husband Javed Iqbal, told the court the provincial mines department granted the lease of 500 acres of land to the petitioner’s wife. The bureau is investigating the matter.

He added the arrest warrant for Javed and his business partner Salim Shah is illegal because they are not the beneficiaries. “The lease was obtained by Rukhsana who died around four months ago.”

The court then suspended the arrest warrant and restrained NAB from arresting Javed and Salim and adjourned the hearing till September 15.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.