LAHORE - An accountability court on Saturday has extended physical remand of Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (MSR) for another 10 days in illegal plots allotment case.

Mir Shakil had appeared before the accountability court today after his earlier remand expired.  Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the case proceedings. The NAB prosecutor pleaded with the court to extend physical remand of accused to complete the investigation. He stated that investigation process remained slow due to lockdown imposed to prevent spread of coronavirus. He apprised the court about investigations conducted so far, adding that the bureau recorded statement of then Director General Lahore Development Authority Humayun Faiz Rasool.

To a court query, the NAB investigation officer told that two roads were also included in the block/plot allotted to Mir Shakil. The prosecutor apprised about two-minute video being aired on Geo TV, saying that it was an attempt to affect the court proceedings.

At this, the court observed that the bureau should file a separate application for the purpose, if it had any objection. Advocate Amjad Pervaiz on behalf of Mir Shakil opposed the remand.

He submitted that all record was available with the bureau and no further remand was required. MSR’s counsel reminded the court that international media was following what was happening to the senior-most editor of Pakistan’s largest media group.

The court after hearing detailed arguments of parties extended physical remand of Mir Shakil for another 10 days and directed for producing him on April 28 again.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was taken into custody following his appearance in the anti-corruption watchdog’s office in Lahore on March 12 after he failed to give satisfactory answers during interrogation.

The NAB had alleged that the accused obtained illegal exemption of 54 plots of one-kanal each in Johar Town Lahore, with the connivance of Nawaz Sharif, the then chief minister of Punjab, in violation of the exemption policy. It is pertinent to mention here that LHC had rejected two petitions filed by Mir Shakil and his wife challenging arrest and physical remand of Mir Shakil.