ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday gave the NAB three days to submit its reply in two separate post-arrest bail petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal.

A two-member bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Lubna Saleem Pervez heard the petitions moved by Abbasi and Iqbal and deferred the hearing till February 13 for further proceedings

The IHC bench also warned the NAB that the high court would not entertain its request for any more delay.

During the hearing, Abbasi’s lawyer informed the bench that his client has been detained for over 200 days and he is being deprived of fundamental rights.

The anti-graft watchdog told the court that it would submit its reply within three to four days.

Iqbal’s counsel Tariq Jahangir Advocate opposed the NAB’s request seeking time.

The petition of Abbasi said that former finance minister Dr Miftah Ismail and ex-managing director of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had already been granted bail in the same case. 

The petition claimed that Abbasi in his capacity as minister for petroleum had a policy role in the LNG terminal project under ECC instructions and all approvals in this regard had been given by the cabinet. It added that it was not Abbasi’s mandate to interfere in the working of the Board of Directors or in the management of companies within the domain of petroleum ministry. 

Therefore, petition requested the IHC to order his release on bail.

Similarly, the bail plea filed by Azam Nazeer Tarar on behalf of Iqbal, maintained that the allegations are “false, frivolous and absurd” and the former planning minister has been arrested due to “political victimization being the secretary-general” of the ruling party’s main opposition.

The petition argued that the anti-graft watchdog has “no evidence” against Iqbal.

Iqbal is seeking post-arrest bail in the Narowal Sports City project case.