ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday granting stay against the Anti-Corruption Court’s order to arrest Malik Riaz till September 15 asked the Lahore High Court to decide the matter of jurisdiction between NAB and ACE before the said date.

The Lahore High Court on August 24 on the request of the Punjab Prosecutor General had adjourned the case that whether National Accountability Bureau (NAB) or Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has jurisdiction to investigate the alleged 1,401 kanal of land fraud case against Malik Riaz.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry heard the case related to the jurisdiction of NAB or ACE to probe land fraud case against Malik Riaz.

The NAB in November 2011 had transferred the said land fraud case from the Anti-Corruption Establishment to NAB. The ACE instead of handing over the record of land fraud case they challenged the transfer of case in the Court.

Aitzaz Ahsan, appearing on behalf of Malik Riaz, argued that Anti-Corruption Court (ACC) has issued arrest warrant of the business tycoon, while it does not have the jurisdiction. He said that they have filed a petition in Lahore High Court against the ACC.

He prayed the bench to cancel the arrest warrant and stop the Anti-Corruption Court proceeding against his client. The bench ordering the Punjab Anti-Corruption department not to arrest Malik asked the Lahore High Court to decided the matter of jurisdiction before 15 September.

A special Anti-Corruption Court in Rawalpindi on June 21, 2012 had issued arrest warrant of former Bahria Town owner in alleged fraud of 1,401 kanal of land in Rawat using fake identities and forged documents.

Malik Riaz Hussain on 17 July, 2012 had obtained protective bail from the Sindh High Court, while an ACC, Rawalpindi on July 30 declared the former Bahria town Chief Malik Riaz as a ‘proclaimed offender’ in the land-fraud case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on August 5 filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) to stop an anti-corruption court (ACC) from proceeding against property magnate Malik Riaz in a land fraud case. The ACC had also order to attach the properties of Malik Riaz, his son Ali Riaz, Milad Bibi alias Hammad Bibi, Sheikh Sajidur Rehman, Iftikhar Munshi, Iqbal Hussain Shah, Mohammad Ashfaq, Dildar Hussain and Nisarul for their alleged involvement in land case.

The LHC, Rawalpindi bench temporarily suspended the ACC order till Aug 15 after Malik Riaz’s counsel produced certified copies of the SHC order granting protective/transitory bail to his client.