ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday adjourned hearing in pre-arrest bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in a case pertaining to laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts. 

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petitions moved by the leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and deferred the proceedings after his counsel sought time to submit his rejoinder in the case.  

The bench also accepted Zardari’s application seeking exemption for his personal appearance before the court.  

During the hearing, the investigative officer of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted reply in the case related to a suspicious transaction of Rs8 billion. In the case, the NAB has issued arrest warrants for former president Asif Ali Zardari.  

This case is related to a suspicious transaction of Rs8.3 billion from Bahria Town through joint accounts of Zain Malik, son-in-law of property tycoon Malik Riaz, into fake accounts. 

In its reply, the NAB stated that the former premier was required for investigation. The anti-corruption watchdog opposed bail to the former president. In its reply to the high court, NAB stated the reasons for its opposition to bail to Zardari saying that NAB was taking action against Zardari within legal boundaries and investigation was underway against the former president in accordance with NAB ordinance.  

The bureau stated that there was no statutory provision provided in the law whereby NAB was bound to inform or notice before arrest hence this petition was liable to be dismissed. Therefore, the bureau prayed to the court that petition of Zardari seeking bail may be dismissed in the interest of justice. 

At this, Farooq H Naek requested the court to grant some time to submit his reply in response to NAB’s reply.  

Accepting his request, the IHC bench deferred hearing in this matter till November 5 for further proceedings.