ISLAMABAD      -       National Accountability Bureau Friday approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan challenging the Lahore High Court’s decision to grant post-arrest bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif in Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited case.

The anti-graft watchdog moved an appeal under Article 185 of Constitution against the LHC verdict to grant post-arrest bail to Maryam and prayed to the apex court to cancel the bail in the interest of justice.

The Bureau adopted that the LHC Division Bench has not appreciated the evidence available in record in its true perspective which resulted in grave miscarriage of justice and has prejudiced the case of the prosecution.

It added that it has been established in the initial inquiry that millions of amount was transferred in the accounts of M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited (CSML) wherein the accused, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, was shareholder of the Mills therefore she is beneficiary of the same amounts.

The appeal said the Maryam was appointed director of Chaudhry Sugar Mills in 1992 and held that position till 1997. In 2008 she became the largest shareholder in M/s CSML. It maintained that during the course of inquiry, the petitioner as well as her father were asked to explain the sources of funds for making an investment of Rs2000 million in M/s CSML and M/s Shamim Sugar Mills Limited from 2008-2018.

However, she did not offer any explanation. She was arrested in execution of warrants of arrest, issued by NAB Chairman on August 8, 2019. She acquired the shares worth 440 million, however, could not explain the sources of funds for making such huge investment during that period.

The appeal further said the LHC Division Bench has exercised its discretion in granting bail to Maryam wrongly and without jurisdiction since the provision of NAO, 1999, AMLA, 2010 or ratio propounded upon by apex court in Tallat Ishaq’s case does not recognise any distinction between a man and woman accused of offences under the provisions of laws and relief cannot be granted in constitutional jurisdiction on the basis of gender of an accused.

It maintained that the LHC has failed to take into account the statement of Naseer Lootah under Section 164 CrPC who categorically stated before the judicial magistrate that he has never made any investment in M/s CSML, but LHC by going into deeper appreciation of the facts of the case has wrongly discarded the statement of Naseer, which was not warranted by law.

It continued that the LHC Division Bench erred in not appreciating the specific provision of ouster of jurisdiction (section 9(b) NAO, 1999) enacted in the Special Statute wherein specifically it is promulgated that all offences of NAO, 1999 shall be non-bailable, and not withstanding anything contained in section 426, 491, 497, 498 and 561-A or any other provision of the CrPC or any other law for the time being, no Court shall have jurisdiction to grant bail to any accused of any offence under the Ordinance.

The NAB appeal said that LHC order whereby post arrest bail was granted to Maryam was on the face of it erroneous, perverse, factually incorrect and passed without assigning lawful reasons, while misconstruing the provisions of Section 9(a) of NAO, 1999 and Section 3 of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

 

NAB challenges Maryam’s bail in top court