LAHORE – Lahore High Court Justice Sardar Tariq Masood refused to hear a writ petition seeking orders to restrain the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from starting probe into Arsalan Iftikhar, due to some personal reasons.

As a division bench took up the petition, head of the bench Justice Masood informed the petitioner’s lawyer that Arsalan’s counsel Sardar Ishaq was his brother; therefore, it would be unsuitable for him to hear the case.

After this, the bench also comprising Justice Iftikhar Hussain Shah forwarded the petition to the chief justice to fix it before another bench for hearing.

A resident of Sialkot Ammanullah Bhatti through his counsel Fahad Ahmad Siddiqi filed the petition by submitting that NAB could not start probe as the matter pertained to two individuals and had not caused any loss to the public exchequer. He submitted that NAB had decided to form a committee comprising officials of NAB, FIA, police and experts from the banking sector to probe the Arsalan’s case. He pleaded that the NAB had no jurisdiction to form an investigative committee on the issue as both individuals did not hold any public office.

The NAB had already refused to entertain the case by saying that it did not fall in its ambit, but now it was ready to investigate the case on the directions of the federal government which showed the mala fide intentions of rulers, the petitioner further said. He requested the court to issue directions setting aside the constitution of the committee by NAB.