LAHORE - A two-judge bench of Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Usman Anwar, former director general of Punjab Sports Board, in the Punjab Youth Festival (PYF) scam.

The bench asked Usman Anwar to furnish two surety bonds of Rs 1 million for availing the relief of the bail.

The bench comprising Justice Muhammad Tariq Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad heard the post-arrest bail petition filed by the former director general.

During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel argued that National Accountability Bureau had conducted five inquiries into the charges of embezzlement in funds of Punjab Youth Festival but failed to find any evidence against his client.

He said that the bureau launched the sixth inquiry and arrested his client despite failure in earlier inquiries.

He pleased that the bureau had failed to find any evidence against his client in the recent inquiry. He also pleaded with the court to grant the benefit of bail to his client.

However, a NAB prosecutor opposed the bail request and submitted that the accused misused his powers.

The bench after hearing detailed arguments of the parties granted bail to Usman Anwar and directed for furnishing two surety bonds for the purpose.

The Lahore NAB had arrested former DG Sports Board Punjab Usman Anwar on June 21, 2019 in the mega corruption case. The NAB alleged that Anwar awarded illegal contracts of the youth festivals held in 2011 and 2012. It said the contracts were given to unregistered and blue-eyed companies in violation of procurement rules.

It also added the suspect was directly involved in financial corruption and also committed misuse of authority. Initially, the calculated loss to national exchequer caused by the suspect was Rs139 million, according to NAB. However, the investigation revealed that the actual loss was Rs 200 million.