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NAB takes back petition for suspension of bail to Shehbaz Sharif in SC

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken back its petition in the Supreme Court that challenged the bail to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif in Ashiana Iqbal housing scam case, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court (SC) has wrapped up the petition against Shehbaz Sharif filed by the anti-corruption watchdog which sought the suspension of bail to the opposition leader in a case related to the Ashiana Iqbal housing scandal.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that bail cannot be suspended in prima facie case. He added that few people had spent many years in jail due to lack of progress in Ashiana case.

The NAB lawyer Naeem Bokhari told the court that Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to the ex-prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, had taken money for the suspension of the agreement of Chaudhry Latif and Sons.

Read: Ashiana case: Court declares three absconders as proclaimed offenders

CJP questioned for the person who had forwarded the matter to the anti-corruption department. Bokhari replied that former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had sent the matter to the department in order to pressurise Chaudhry Latif and Sons to oust the company from the contract.

The lawyer added that the case was primarily focused on administrative irregularities emerged in the report of the inquiry committee and the matter should be resolved there.

He said that former Punjab CM had constituted a committee under the supervision of the then provincial secretary finance which declared the contract in line with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PEPRA) laws.

Fawad Hasan Fawad had pressurised the administration of Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), whereas, he had also received Rs550 million from the second bidder, Kamran Kayani to suspend the agreement with Chaudhry Latif and Sons.

Read: Shehbaz appears before court in Ashiana Iqbal Housing scam

The top court’s judge questioned whether the new contract was handed over to Kayani or not after its dissolution the previous one. Bokhari said the second agreement had not been handed over to him.

“Did Kamran Kayani demanded Rs550 million from Fawad Hasan Fawad?” questioned CJP. “No, Kayani is absconding and residing abroad nor Shehbaz Sharif is present in the court and the country,” the lawyer answered.

CJP Khosa questioned again whether the former chief minister had been summoned personally. Bokhari replied he had not been summoned but the court’s verdict could be made in any direction.

“It seems that Ashiana housing case had made the court very busy. Although the housing scheme was not completed, however, the lawyers get much more from it.”

Bokhari said that the pleas of two approvers had been approved and two were rejected.

Read: SC to take up NAB appeal against Shehbaz Sharif’s bail on Dec 3

Justice Khosa remarked that a person will have to confess crime for being an approver in a case. He added that the prosecution did not mention any major mistake of Shehbaz Sharif except pointing out a meeting which had been held at his residence. The chief justice continued that if the chief minister was head of the institutions then what would be the problem in it to summon a meeting by him. The prosecution represented him as an outsider who had summoned the meeting, he added.

“In this story, it seems that the role of Shehbaz Sharif is like a good kid who had initiated an investigation into this matter and later forwarded it to the anti-corruption department. On the other hand, the character of Fawad Hasan Fawad is like a bad kid in this story but Sharif is seen as making security measures in this story.”

Later, the anti-corruption watchdog took back its petition against the suspension of bail to Shehbaz Sharif. The Supreme Court (SC) has wrapped up the petition against Shehbaz Sharif filed by the anti-corruption watchdog after it has been withdrawn by the NAB.

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