LAHORE  -  The Lahore High Court  Wednesday sought reply from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on a petition moved by former principal secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad against his arrest in Ashiyana Housing scheme scam and accumulating assets beyond means.

A LHC division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Tariq Abbasi directed the NAB authorities to submit reply by the next week, with directives to the counsel of the petitioner to move a separate petition for constitution of a medical board for medical examination of Fawad.  Arguing before the bench, the counsel of Fawad said that initially his client was arrested in corruption case related to Punjab Land Development Company and Ashiyana Housing Scheme and later was arrested for accumulating assets beyond means. The lawyer said the NAB committed illegality in arresting Fawad in Assets’ case as it was violation of Section 24 of the NAB ordinance 1999.

He argued that the legal formalities had also not been followed by the NAB officials regarding arrest of his client. He asked the court to set aside arrest of Fawad Hassan Fawad for being illegal and unlawful.

After hearing initial arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, the bench headed by Justice Abbasi sought reply from the NAB and adjourned the hearing till the next week.

The NAB officials arrested Fawad, accusing him of concealing the report of the inquiry committee about the contract from the senior officials due to his mala fide intention. The inquiry committee had been working under the supervision of the then Finance Secretary Tariq Bajwa. According to the findings of the inquiry committee, the contract awarded to Ch Latif and Sons was legal and approved as per rules. The contract of the Ashiyana Iqbal Project was suspended eight months after it was approved and awarded.

The contractor, Ch Latif and Sons, had paid Rs 70 million in advance as mobilization charges. The work was also in progress when the project was suspended.

The NAB said the “illegal actions” taken by Fawad Hassan Fawad delayed the project and multiplied its cost and also ignored the notices issued by the bureau for his appearance in the case.   Former LDA DG Ahad Khan Cheema was on judicial remand after serving 90-day remand in the NAB custody. 

PLEAS against NAB law  challenged 

A petition was moved to the Lahore High Court Wednesday challenging two petitions against the NAB ordinance, trial and conviction of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Safdar and Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar as well as other trial and cases under the same law.

Chaudhary Younas, a local lawyer, had moved the petition stating that the conviction of Nawaz Sharif and his family members was in accordance with the law and all legal formalities were fulfilled in their conviction. 

He claimed that two petitions had been moved to the high court against the NAB ordinance, trial and cases under it and a full bench had also been reconstituted for hearing of the same petitions.

 The petitioner asked the court to set aside these petitions and maintain the decision of the NAB court regarding conviction of Nawaz Sharif and his family members in Avenfield case.