LAHORE - An accountability court on Wednesday acquitted former chief of Lahore Parking Company (LPC) Hafiz Nauman in a corruption scam of the company.

The court also acquitted accused Usman Qayyum and Taseer Ahmad in the case. Accountability Court Judge Amjad Nazir Chaudhry passed the orders while allowing acquittal applications of all the three accused. The court held that Hafiz Nauman and other accused neither misused authority nor were involved in corruption.

The court had reserved the verdict on acquittal applications of the accused after hearing arguments of all parties and it was announced in open court today.

Earlier, a counsel on behalf of accused argued before the court that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had launched investigations into the matter in 2018 but despite a lapse of two years, it failed to conclude the investigations. He submitted that the bureau had failed to prove allegations levelled against his clients. The counsel contended that further investigations were not required in the case and pleaded with the court to acquit the accused.

However, a NAB prosecutor opposed the application, saying that sufficient evidence was available to convict the accused. Hafiz Nauman and two others had filed the applications for acquittal under 265-k of Criminal Procedure Code. They had pleaded the court for acquittal, saying that all allegations levelled against them were baseless.

The NAB had accused that Hafiz Nauman misused his authority and illegally awarded parking sites contracts. According to NAB the national exchequer had to face loss of millions of rupees due to financial irregularities in the company. The LHC had already granted bail to the accused in the case.

LHC dissatisfied over Punjab govt’s reply

Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the Punjab government’s reply in case pertaining to non-issuance of funds to the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA). Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, in his remarks, said that the government had turned people into beggars through the Ehsaas programme.

“The head of the programme clicks pictures of citizens by making them stand in queues and thinks that she had performed her duty.

“Can the poor not be helped without taking their photographs with flour bags? Does a state aid the needy facing difficult circumstances in such manner? Where would those people go who did not like standing in queues.