LAHORE - A local accountability court on Saturday exonerated former National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi and all the co-accused in a corruption scam involving billions of rupees.  According to a TV report, Judge Ameer Muhammad Khan presided over the case pertaining to NICL corruption scandal which talked about the alleged misuse of authority, hampering of investigation process regarding Niazi’s appointment and corruption, along with embezzlements of organization’s funds. The court issued a 46-page detailed verdict which acquitted all the named people in the case.

The court said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) miserably failed to prove its case against the accused. Judge remarked that the watchdog also failed to prove the allegation regarding absconding of nominated persons, Mohsin Habib and Javed Syed. The AC further dismissed the arrest warrants of the accused as NAB’s witness also failed to produce documentary evidence regarding the plot price before the court.

The written verdict further stated another witness of the anti-graft watchdog, who is a patwari, submitted incredible evidence as the records were not updated. The court held the record of no status and rejected it. The written decision stated that there is no evidence in the NAB record that could determine the actual value of the NICL plot; NAB could not prove its case even at the point of market value of the NICL plot. It did not produce any bank record or other evidence regarding the NICL plot. More than Rs6 billion NICL scam had surfaced in 2009-10 when Mohsin Warraich’s company, Messrs Privilege, purchased 803 kanals from the NICL in Lahore for Rs1.68 billion. The NICL sold the land measuring 20 kanal on the Lahore Airport Road to Mohsin Warraich for Rs1.7 billion. It sold the land at the rate of Rs5.3 million per kanal although its market value was much higher.