ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau would file an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the interim bail granted by Islamabad High Court to an accused involved in the Rs 8 billion Modarba scam.

“The NAB has decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court decision of granting bail to the Modarba scam main accused, Mufti Ehsan, and others,” NAB Director Syed Muhammad Hasnain told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that met under the chair of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla here yesterday.

The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to the Modarba scam accused. Sharing details of the scam, the NAB official said more than 10,000 people had been affected by the scam worth Rs 8.2 billion.

He said the accused urged the people not to invest in banks as it was against Islam. They offered the people to invest their money in Modarba (an Islamic investment system), and ran away after depriving the people of billions of rupees, he added.

Muhammad Hasnain informed the Senate body that NAB had arrested 16 out of 36 accused of the scam and attached their properties. “People had invested in Modarba from Rs 10,000 to Rs one million,” he said.

The Senate committee directed the government to take action against the companies looting the people in the name of Modarba. The committee also asked the authorities to award severe punishment to those involved in these scams.

Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue showed displeasure over the NAB investigation into privatisation of Muslim Commercial Bank. The committee decided to summon the NAB chairman and the director general on its next meeting to give the details of the investigations.

The NAB and the Ministry of Finance held each other responsible for having the original record of investigations of the MCB privatisation conducted in 2002. “We do not have the original record, but have asked the finance secretary to hand over the same to us,” the NAB official said, adding they had only photocopies of the record comprising 21 folders.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Finance denied it had the record of the MCB case. “We do not have the record except one or two pages,” said Additional Finance Secretary Abdul Akbar Sharifzada.

After hearing the contradictory statements of NAB and the Ministry of Finance, the Senate committee members felt that the original record of the case had been misplaced. “We want to close this case after completing the investigation,” Senator Saleem Mandiwalla said.

NAB Director Syed Muhammad Hasnain told the committee that they had started investigation from July 3, 2015. The committee was further informed that NAB had sent notices to those who had purchased shares of MCB. “Of them Mian Mansha, SM Muneer, Khawaja Javed, Tariq Rafee, Muhammad Samee, Basheer Jan Muhammad, Mian Abdullah and Sheikh Mukhtar joined the inquiry and sought 15 days to reply. After lapse of these 15 days, they sought further time,” the committee was told.

Saleem Mandviwala directed the NAB authorities to investigate the matter independently without yielding to pressure from any side.