PESHAWAR, Sept 20: Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz moved the Peshawar High Court on Thursday to seek transit bail in a land fraud case, but his petition could not be heard as the concerned judge had already left the court after completion of day’s work.

Advocates Abdul Lateef Afridi and Khalid Afridi filed the petition on behalf of Mr Riaz, but by the time the case file was processed the judge, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, had left. The petitioner has requested the court to allow transit/protective bail to him so that he could approach the concerned court in Rawalpindi.

Mr Lateef Afridi told media persons that the judge was leaving in next few days to perform Haj and he had left the court for making certain arrangements. He said that as Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan was on a visit to Abbottabad the case would be fixed after his return.

In response to reporters’ queries, Mr Riaz said that the Supreme Court had already granted him transit bail in the instant case till Sept 20.

He, however, said that he had been restrained by the SC from giving any statement.

Lateef Afridi stated that the FIR of the case was registered by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab on Nov 14, 2009, and initially Mr Riaz was not charged in it. He claimed that an influential MNA of PML-N used his influence to implicate his client in the case later on.

Mr Riaz reached the high court in a convoy of around a dozen vehicles. The lawyers representing him claimed that when the petition was filed it was marked to Justice Miankhel by senior puisne judge, Justice Miftauddin, as the other judges were sitting in division benches.

However, by the time the case file was processed the judge had already completed his day’s work.

The FIR of the case was registered under section 420, 468 and 471 of Pakistan Penal Code read with section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

The ACE has alleged that through fraudulent means and in connivance with the officials of revenue department, land measuring 1,401 kanals in Rawalpindi was transferred to the name of Bahria Town.

In his petition Mr Riaz claimed that he was under duress as he spoke against the son of Chief Justice of Pakistan and as such inquiries had been launched against him by different authorities, including the ACE Punjab.

He contended that he was not nominated in the FIR, but was subsequently implicated in the case almost two years after registration of the FIR.

The petitioner stated that the Supreme Court had granted him transit bail till Sept 20.

He claimed that he came to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to inquire about the welfare of some of his friends and Thursday being the last day of his protective bail, he sought protective bail from the PHC.

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