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Saad Rafique moves IHC for protective bail

Updated October 11, 2018

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Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique seek legal protection against alleged harassment by NAB. ─ INP/File
Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique seek legal protection against alleged harassment by NAB. ─ INP/File

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique on Wednesday filed in the Islamabad High Court petitions seeking protective bail and legal protection against alleged harassment by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

In the petitions filed through their counsel Amjad Pervaiz and Kamran Murtaza, the two brothers expressed apprehensions about their arrest at the hands of NAB.

They named the NAB chairman and Lahore director general as respondents.

Citing the recent arrest of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, the ex-railways minister said the NAB chairman and officials subordinate to him were acting like an agent of the present regime. “The bureau is abusing the process of law for political victimisation,” said Salman Rafique.

Saad Rafique said he had been scrutinised by NAB several times. His petition read: “In the post-coup 1999 era, an inquiry was authorised against him [Saad Rafique] under NAB Ordinance 1999, during which his entire career was probed into at length. Yet, NAB could not find any wrongdoing against him.”

Notwithstanding immense pressure by the then military dictator, the petition added, the inquiry was closed and the inconvenience caused was regretted by NAB after probing the matter for three years.

Before July 25, 2018 polls, it stated, the petitioner was served with call up notice on March 20, 2018, on the subject of an inquiry against management/evelopers of Para­gon City Private Limited, and others. In compliance, the petition added, the requisite information and documents were submitted along with a written reply on March 28.

The counsel said that Saad Rafique also appeared in person before a combined investigation team on the same date and extended full cooperation and divulged whatever information was within his knowledge. The petition said that the categorical stand of the petitioner was that he had neither been director nor a shareholder of Paragon City Private Limited or ever had any say in its affairs.

Under the garb of the inquiry, the petition added, Saad Rafique was interrogated regarding business income in the name of M/s Saadain Associate which he had been duly declaring in his income tax returns/wealth statement regularly.

It revealed that the petitioner was again served with a call up notice on June 25 on the subject of an inquiry against officials/management of the Punjab Land Development Company, although he had never had any concern with the said matter.

The petitions requested the court to direct the NAB chairman to intimate them about cases pending inquiry or investigation and grant them two weeks time in case of issuance of warrants of arrest to enable them to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for bail in accordance with law. They have also sought protective bail.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2018