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IHC reserves decision on NAB plea seeking dismissal of Safdar’s bail

ISLAMABAD: A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on a plea filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) challenging the accountability court’s orders of granting bail to MNA Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar in a graft reference.

A division bench of the apex court comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the plea.

During the court proceedings, NAB prosecutor presented his arguments against the accountability court’s orders granting bail to Safdar.

The prosecutor asked the bench to revoke Safdar’s bail since the accountability court did not have an authority to grant him bail.

During the hearing, the bench also expressed extreme displeasure overuse of mobile phone by Safdar while asking the police to confiscate his phone. However, Safdar’s phone was returned after he made an unconditional apology before the bench.

On Nov 3, the NAB approached the Islamabad High Court, challenging the bail granted to the former prime minister’s son-in-law retired Captain Safdar in a corruption reference.

On Oct 9, the accountability court in Islamabad had granted bail to Capt Safdar in the case related to the Sharif family’s London flats.

NAB prosecutor general Waqas Dar filed a petition in the high court, contending that the trial court went beyond its jurisdiction while granting bail to Safdar since it lacked powers to approve the bail after issuing non-bailable warrants for his arrest.

Only high courts or Supreme Court had jurisdiction to entertain bail applications in such cases, NAB argues in the plea.

Citing Capt Safdar and the accountability court as respondents, the NAB has pleaded to the high court to revoke his bail.

On Oct 2, the trial court had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Safdar for failing to appear before it. He was taken into custody by a NAB team as soon as he stepped out of the Rawal lounge of Benazir Bhutto International Airport after his arrival from London on Oct 9 along with his wife Maryam Nawaz.

On that day, the NAB had produced him before the accountability court, which subsequently granted him bail against a surety of Rs five million and ordered his release.

Nawaz Sharif and his two sons have been nominated in all three references, while Maryam and her husband have been named in a reference related to the family’s London flats.



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