LAHORE A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court Thursday released detailed judgment on the bail pleas moved by former President Bank of Punjab Hamesh Khan and Director Harris Steel Mills Sheikh Muhammad Afzal. The Bench of Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhary and Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sindhu while dismissing the bail petition of both found them prima facie guilty of misappropriation Rs nine billion of the BoP and that the accused had acted in league about the grant and security of loan to this tune which led the Bank to bankruptcy. Such like persons do not deserve any leniency, the Bench viewed in the detailed judgment of 22 pages. The court also took note of the fact that the petitioners had been absconder and if they were so innocent, as claimed through the instant petition, they would not have fled out of country and had proved their innocence before the competent authority. It is cardinal principle of criminal justice that an absconder loses some of his normal rights. In the instant case, the court observed with regard to Sheikh Afzal that he has miserably failed to prove that his involvement in the reference called for further probe rather his act during the pre and post arrest time speaks volumes of his involvement in the commission of the offence. As to his ailment, the court said, not a single document in support of this contention has been produced to show that he was suffering from any acute problem not treatable in custody. In cases of fraud, the court observed, almost every accused falls ill after his arrest. The court said even in the eventuality of any serious disease, the jail authorities can cater to the treatment outside the jail premises but the petitioner has failed to specify if he was suffering from any fatal disease. Addressing the contention that NAB took action against the accused without prior approval of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Court observed that suffice was to say that the NAB took action following SBP audit report. Sheikh Afzal did not question legality of the reference at the time of entering plea bargaining with the Nab, the Court observed adding, if he was so innocent why he surrendered so lightly about the plea bargaining. As to Hamesh Khan, the court remarked that he hotly pursued to cover the fraud played by Sheikh Afzal while availing loan facilities on the basis of fake documents. The Court also denied the relief provided under the Principle of Consistency after other accused have been granted bail, and said their (the petitioners) case stands pole apart from the others who were either subordinate to Hamesh Khan or employees of the Sheikh and acted under influence and pressure of the duo. The court also noted that Salvage Committee set up under supervision of a former judge of the Supreme Court on the matter giving an input not up to the mark mainly for the reason Sheikh Afzal and his family members did not cooperate with it about giving details of the properties being held by Sheikh Afzal and his family members and benamidars. In this situation if the Sheikh is released, it would not be possible to make good the loss accrued to the bank of Punjab due to fraud played by him in connivance with Hamesh Khan, who being an influent person, was also sure to tamper with prosecution evidence in case released on bail, the court observed. The court said interim reference had been submitted before court and investigations against the accused would continue till the final reference was filed. During the investigation a chain of incidents has already been unearthed which is sufficient to prove that the petitioners besides fraud, the subject matter of the instant petition, are also involved in other uncalled for activity, the court maintained adding, in case they are granted bail they may cover their 'hidden misdeeds and the investigating officer will be deprived of a fair chance to probe the same. Sheikh Afzal, the court said, was arrested from Malaysia with the help of national and international agencies while Khan did not immediately surrender to the law after filing of the reference against him and remained reluctant to cooperate with the IO, as per the Chairman NAB statement. These facts fortify the fears that the petitioners on being granted bail, would leave the country and in order to check that possibility their names have been placed on the ECL by the SC order however possibility, in case of release on bail, still remains of their 'fleeing away by preparing forged and fake documents, as they have no match in that field The court concluded that the petitioners are involved in the commission of a fraud which ultimately deprived the national kitty.