Court seeks reply from NAB on plea against arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman
LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Monday sought para-wise comments from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) till March 26 on a petition challenging the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Jang and Geo Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
The bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh heard the petition filed by Shahina Shakil, wife of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan represented the petitioner and submitted that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman completely cooperated with the bureau and appeared twice before the NAB team on being summoned. He mentioned that the bureau team did not provide any specific questionnaire to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, enabling him to satisfy them regarding allegations levelled against him.
He stated that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman appeared before the NAB team on March 12 but he was arrested.
While assailing the arrest, he argued that although the case record was available in the NAB Lahore, the chairman issued arrest warrants from Islamabad on the same day and time.
He also questioned physical remand of Jang Group owner by an accountability court.
In response to a court query, Aitzaz submitted that he had read in newspaper that Nawaz Sharif had also been summoned in the matter.
At this stage, the court observed that the bureau should have asked questions from Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and record his statement after an NAB prosecutor admitted that the matter was still at inquiry stage. If he fails to reply, then steps should have been taken in accordance with the law, the court added.
Subsequently, the court issued notices to the bureau for March 26 and sought para-wise comments. The NAB prosecutor assured that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman would be allowed to meet his family, lawyer and doctor as per law, besides access to medicines and newspapers.
The petitioner had challenged the arrest and physical remand of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, saying that it was a violation of 2019 businessmen policy. She had pleaded with the court to set aside the arrest warrants and remand.
It is pertinent to mention here that the bureau arrested Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on March 12.
The bureau alleged that he obtained illegal exemption of 54 plots of one-kanal each in Johar Town Lahore, with the connivance of Nawaz Sharif, the then chief minister of Punjab, in violation of the exemption policy about 34 years ago. – APP