ISLAMABAD  -  A division bench of the Islamabad High Court Thursday turned down petitions of former federal minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique seeking protective bails in NAB cases.

The IHC DB comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petitions moved by Saad Rafiq and his brother and rejected the same by directing the two brothers to approach the Lahore High Court in this connection.

The petitioners moved the court through counsel Amjad Pervez Advocate and cited National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman and NAB Lahore director general as respondents.

They stated in the petition: “Unfortunately the political history of Pakistan is replete with numerous examples of political victimisation and use of state machinery and abuse of law for settling political scores and manoeuvring.”

“It was in the above context that in post coup 1999 era, an inquiry was authorised against the petitioner under NAO 1999 during the course of which the entire career of the petitioner was probed into at great length yet the respondent bureau could not find out any wrongdoing against the petitioner notwithstanding immense pressure by the then military dictator,” said the petition.

According to the petitioners, after probe over a period of three years, the inquiry was closed and the inconvenience caused to the petitioner was regretted by the bureau. They added that before general elections 2018, the petitioner was served with call up notice on the subject of an inquiry against management/ developers of Paragon City private and others.

They continued that in response to it, they submitted the requisite information and documents through written reply while they also appeared in person before the combined investigation team and extended full cooperation.

They maintained that under the garb of above said inquiry, the petitioners were also interrogated regarding his business income. “Although the official of the respondent bureau were unable to confront the petitioner with any evidence worth name to contradict his stance yet they kept on fishing and sniffing expedition against the petitioner,” said the petition.

They mentioned that they were again served with a call up notice dated 25-6-2018 on the subject of an inquiry against officials/ management of Punjab Land Development Company although the petitioners have never had any concern with the said matter.

Petitioners contended that the fishing expedition against them was prompted by mala fide intention and political motivation to damage the political image of the petitioner to influence the outcome of the general elections.

They said that the mala fide intention on the part of the officials of respondent bureau becomes evident from the fact that contrary to the standard norm of inquiry/ investigation, the respondent bureau used to release the call up notice to media to create sensation and to give an opportunity to the political rivals to arrange talk shows for their character assassination.

“Despite the non-availability of an iota of evidence to show any concern of the petitioner with Paragon City except as explained above yet on account of their nefarious designs, the officials of the bureau are bent upon to drag the petitioner and his brother in the affairs of said company with mala fide intention,” alleged Saad Rafique in his petition.

He added that unfortunately, as per the unfolding of the events in the last week when the leader of opposition was arrested, it has become a matter of public knowledge that the respondent chairman and officials subordinate to aim are acting like as an agent for the present regime.

Therefore, they prayed to the court to direct Chairman NAB to intimate to the petitioners the particulars of the cases, pending inquiry or investigation against him and to grant him two weeks time in case of issuance of warrants of arrest to enable him to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for bail in accordance with law.

They also requested that the petitioners may be admitted to protective bail in the interest of justice.