SLAMABAD    -   Former president Asif Ali Zardari Monday filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to quash the interim reference in the matter of Park Lane properties.

The co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) filed the petition through his counsel Farooq H Naek and cited chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), judge Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad and state as respondents.

In his petition, Zardari stated that he is aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the order of accountability court dated 7-8-2020 whereby petitioner’s application for quashment of the said interim reference and application for first deciding/determining jurisdiction of the Accountability Court in this matter were dismissed by the AC Islamabad.

He told that an inquiry into some fake bank accounts of Karachi was initiated by FIA in the year 2015 and noticing delay, the Supreme Court in 2018 took suo motu notice thereof which resulted in Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and its recommendations culminating in order dated 07.01.2019 by the apex court directing NAB to investigate and, if cognizable offence are found, file references accordingly. 

He added that in paragraph 37 (v) of the Order dated 07-01-2019 the Supreme Court of Pakistan specifically directed the NAB to act strictly in accordance with law and after inquiry and investigation in case and if cognizable offences are made out, the recommendation contained in paragraph 300 of the final synthesis report shall be acted upon and the requisite reference shall be filed in the concerned Accountability Court.

Zardari’s counsel pointed out that the NAB in garb of order dated 07-01-2019 passed by the apex court filed an interim reference No. 13 of 2019 against the above-named petitioner and others without following proper legal requirements and without conducting inquiry and investigation as required under the law. He informed that the said interim reference is with respect to loan of Rs1.5 billion taken by M/s. Parthenon Pvt. Limited from private banks by pledging valuable immovable property of M/s. Parklane Estate (Pvt) Limited.

The counsel continued that the AC Islamabad vide two orders both dated 7- 8-2020 dismissed the applications for first determination of jurisdiction of accountability court and quashing of the interim reference under Section 31-D of NAO 1999 read with Section 265-D CrPC as well as application for withdrawal of application for quashing of the interim reference.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to quash the reference No. 13 of 2019 being without jurisdiction, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab-initio.