LAHORE                  -                A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench Monday dismissed post-arrest bail petitions, filed by former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Ahad Cheema in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme and assets beyond means cases.

The division bench comprising Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider heard the petitions.

Representing Cheema, a counsel argued that the petitioner had been behind the bars for more than two years.

He submitted that other co-accused had already been granted bail in Ashiana-Iqbal Housing case, including former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and Princial Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad.

He submitted that the trial court had recorded statements of 13 witnesses so far. The counsel argued that no suspect could be kept behind the bars for an indefinite period of time until proven guilty. He pleaded with the court for granting Cheema bail in both cases.

However, NAB Prosecutor Faisal Bukhari opposed the bail petitions, saying that Ahad Cheema misused his authority in Ashiana housing case. He contended that the accused amassed assets of Rs 470 million and the same did not correspond to his means. He submitted that the accused purchased an 8-kanal plot and the amount was paid from Paragon Housing Society’s account.

Subsequently, the bench dismissed the bail petitions. Meanwhile,  the bench also dismissed a post-arrest bail petition of co-accussed Shahid Shaique in Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing scheme case. A total of 13 accused had been indicted in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal case. Shahbaz faces allegations of misusing his authority and conniving with then Lahore Development Agency (LDA) director-general Ahad Khan Cheema to award the housing scheme contract to a favourite firm instead of the successful bidder.