ISLAMABAD -  The National Accountability Bureau on Friday moved a petition in the Islamabad High Court challenging Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar’s release on bail in a reference filed against him.

The NAB chairman moved the court through NAB prosecutor and made Capt (retd) Safdar and the Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad judge as respondents.

The petition said that upon completion of an investigation, the NAB filed a reference against five accused including Capt (retd) Safdar before the AC Islamabad. It said that on September14, the AC summoned the accused for their appearance in the said reference.

The NAB prosecutor told the trial court that despite having knowledge the respondents did not appear before the court in compliance with the summons and the court re-summoned the accused including Safdar.

The petition said that the accused did not appear before the court on September 26 again and the court issued bailable arrest warrants for Capt (retd) Safdar. The prosecutor said that Capt (retd) Safdar did not appear in response to the bailable warrants issued by the trial court and the court was constrained to issue non-bailable warrants for him to procure his attendance for October 9.

The NAB prosecutor said that the officials of NAB in the execution of non-bailable arrest warrants arrested Capt (retd) Safdar on October 8 from Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad and he was produced before the court on October 9 with the request for judicial remand.

“The respondent No 2 (AC judge) instead of remanding the accused to judicial custody and by ignoring the principles dealing with the custody of the accused and the powers to grant bail in the matter pertaining to offences under the provision of NA ordinance 1999, illegally and unlawfully released the accused from custody on the submission of a bond in the sum of Rs5 million with one surety in the like amount.

The NAB contended that the procedure adopted by the trial court was not warranted by law, the court was not competent to release the accused without granting bail by the competent court of law.

It said that the offence was non-bailable and when the accused appeared before the trial court in pursuance of the non-bailable warrants in the custody of NAB , the court was not competent to let him off.

The NAB prosecutor argued that Capt (retd) Safdar did not appear before the court on various dates of hearing and avoided the process of law and tried to hamper the proceedings which were to be concluded within the stipulated time period of six months.

The NAB prosecutor prayed to the court that it may declare the trial court order on October 9 as illegal, without jurisdiction and set aside the same to the extent of the release of Capt (retd) Safdar on bail and as a consequence, he may be remanded to the judicial custody.