NAB withdraws petition seeking cancellation of Shahbaz’s bail

ISLAMABAD, Dec 03 (APP): The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday withdrew its petition in the Supreme Court that challenged the bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme scam case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the chief justice said bail could not be suspended in the prima facie case.

Few people had spent many years in jail due to lack of progress in the Ashiana case, he added.

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

He said Shahbaz Sharif was not in court today or not in the country.

The chief justice asked as to whether Shahbaz Sharif was called in personal capacity.

Naeem Bukhari replied that the court did not summon Shahbaz Sharif.

The chief justice observed that the Ashiana Housing scam had kept the courts quite busy.

Naeem Bukhari said the Ashiana Housing Scheme had not been not launched.

The court had accepted applications of two approvers and rejected those of two other accused.

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The chief Justice said before becoming an approver, someone had to accept his or her crime.

Naeem Bukhari said Shahbaz Sharif (as chief minister) had made a committee to review the bidding process without any complaint.

The committee in its report had stated that there were some misappropriation in the bidding process. The tender of the lowest bidder was cancelled on the pressure of Kamran Kayani, who , he alleged, had bribed Fawad Hasan Fawad.

He said more than Rs 50 million was transferred to the accounts of Fawad Hassan Fawad’s brother and his wife. Kamran Kiyani also failed to get the contract and was now absconding, he added.

The chief justice asked who had referred the matter to the Anti-Corruption Department.

Naeem Bukhari replied that the case was referred by Shahbaz Sharif in order to harass the lowest bidder.

Shahbaz Sharif was not in the country as the Lahore High Court accepted his bail in February, 2019.

The chief justice asked whether there was any lawyer representing Shahbaz Sharif in the case.
Advocate Ashtar Ausaf said he was representing Shahbaz Sharif in the case.

The chief minister had made the inquiry committee headed by Tariq Bajwa, which only pointed out procedural mistakes but rejected violations of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules.

The chief justice observed the chief minister himself had formed the inquiry committee.

Naeem Bukhari apprised the court that Fawad Hassan Fawad was appointed implementation secretary in the matter.

Later, the court disposed of the petition over withdrawal by NAB.