Shahzad Ahmad

LAHORE - NAB DG Saleem Shahzad’s eyes filled with tears yesterday when Chief Justice Saqib Nisar warned him of action if found responsible for presenting Punjab University professors in a court in handcuffs.

Hearing a suo motu notice over the matter on Saturday, the court directed the National Accountability Bureau to apologise to the nation for treating a man of knowledge like ex-VC Mujahid Kamran and others in such manner.

The former vice chancellor and five ex-registrars of the university are under investigation in a corruption case related to alleged indiscretions during his Kamran’s occupancy.

The NAB arrested Mujahid Kamran on Thursday and produced him, along with others, before an accountability court handcuffed on Friday. And, the court granted 10 days physical remand of the accused to the bureau for investigations.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the incident following the widespread circulation of Kamran’s pictures in handcuffs.

During Saturday’s hearing the CJP came down hard over the disrespect to the professors and observed he would never tolerate disgracing the teachers in such a manner.

He lambasted NAB Director General Saleem Shahzad, asking him, “By which law did you insult a professor in this manner?”

“If you are found to be responsible for this act, a case will be registered against you. “Then you [too] can go around, seeking bail in handcuffs,” the top judge went on to say.

The DG’s eyes became teary on which the chief justice further remarked: “Now that you yourself felt the heat, your eyes have filled with tears.”

Punjab Advocate General Ahmad Owais, who also appeared before the court, said he personally felt sad over this mistreatment to the VC and other professors.

The chief justice told him that he watched the video of handcuffed former officials of the university at 12am and made a call to the NAB chairman, who said that the DG would satisfy him over the issue. He further remarked that if the NAB DG did not want to do the job, he should quit.

Saleem Shahzad told the court that no orders were given to the officials from his side for producing them handcuffed, and he also tendered an apology.

He also said that he personally visited Dr Mujahid after the incident and apologised to him as well as the other professors.

A NAB prosecutor submitted that the accused were produced in handcuffs due to security reasons. He also claimed that “we have done a great job against corruption”.

But the chief justice remarked that NAB has done nothing except making a mockery of people.

The top judge said that producing Mujahid Kamran and other professors in handcuffs is akin to killing their dignity.

The court ordered Shahzad to personally apologise to Mujahid Kamran and other professors and sought a written apology from him.

Later, the hearing concluded with the submission of DG Shahzad’s written apology, which was accepted by the court.

NAB had arrested the VC when he appeared at its Lahore office to record his statement over charges of irregularities during his tenure. The bureau produced him before the court along with five other professors. The other accused included four registrars namely Ameen Athar, Dr Aurangzaib, Dr Liaquat and Dr Raas Masood, and additional registrar Dr Kamran Zahid.

The VC and the others are accused of carrying out massive irregularities during Kamran’s tenure at the varsity.

Mujahid Kamran allegedly also granted approval to hiring on several positions in the university in violation of the laws.

He is also accused of being involved in illegal appointment of his wife Shazia Qureshi as the principal of Punjab University Law College.

The former VC also face charges of awarding scholarships to students on the basis of nepotism and giving contracts on choice, in violation of the laws.