ISLAMABAD  -   The Islamabad High Court Wednesday admitted for hearing a petition challenging the arrest warrants issued by the National Accountability Bureau against Omni Group’s Abdul Ghani Majeed, accusing him of land encroachment and corruption.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the petition praying to the court to declare Ghani’s arrest warrant as null and void. However, Justice Athar Minallah recused himself from hearing of the case citing his personal reasons.

Now another dual bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani will take up this matter on February 18.

In January, the bureau had issued arrest warrants against Abdul Ghani in a reference regarding to alleged encroachment over an amenity plot of storm-water drain Karachi. The anti-graft watchdog believes Abdul Ghani conspired with others to illegally encroach upon the land.

In his petition, Ghani adopted that the warrants were based on “mala fide surmises and conjectures”. He also claims that the anti-graft watchdog stepped beyond its “jurisdiction and nullity in the eye of law”. Abdul Ghani maintained that he was falsely implicated by the investigating officer due to a “personal grudge and to harass and extort money”.

He argued: “The detention of an accused person first and foremost offends the fundamental rights to life and dignity guaranteed by the Constitution under Article 9 and 14.”

“The fact that the Respondent No 1 to 3 (Chairman NAB and Officials), instead of seeking any clarification from the petitioner, or otherwise seeking permission from the Respondent 4 (NAB Investigating Officer) to investigate the petitioner within the confines of District Jail at Malir where the petitioner is presently confined, is seeking the custody of the petitioner is unjust, unfair and abuse of the powers not available to the Respondents No 1 to 3 and is contrary to the provision of and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973,” said the petition.

Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to suspend the warrants so that he could seek relief to attain justice.