ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday granted bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique in the Air Avenue case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir heard the appeal of former federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique against the previous Lahore High Court judgment which had rejected their bail applications.

On December 11, 2019 the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested the Khawaja brothers after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their request for an extension to their pre-arrest bail. The Khawaja brothers had approached the apex court to appeal that decision. The bails were approved against two surety bonds worth Rs 3 million each.

On April 26, 2019 NAB Lahore had approved filing of a reference against the Khawaja brothers and Nadeem Zia for alleged corruption.

According to NAB, Khawaja Saad Rafique, in collusion with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia, had launched a housing project named Air Avenue, which was later renamed to Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd.

The accused allegedly connived with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt to defraud several members of the society and misappropriated project funds for personal gains. The reference claims that the accused collected large sums in violation of directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).The reference also claims that Saad Rafique acquired 40 kanals of land in his and his brother’s names, which he used to extend the project illegally.

On February 11, 2019, an accountability court in Lahore issued an arrest warrant for Qaiser Amin Butt, the director of Paragon Housing Society and the primary accused person in the Paragon City Housing reference, who has turned witness for the prosecution against the Khawaja brothers.