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Ashiana-i-Iqbal scam: Court proceeds to declare Kiyani, others absconders

Updated January 11, 2019

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NAB Special Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua asks court to start proceedings under sections 87 & 88 of CrPC.
NAB Special Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua asks court to start proceedings under sections 87 & 88 of CrPC.

LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday began proceedings to declare Kamran Kiyani, a brother of former army chief retired Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, Paragon City Housing Society’s director Nadeem Zia and another absconder in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal scheme case.

As the court resumed hearing on the reference, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a report stating that warrants for the arrest of the three suspects had not been served upon them since their residences were found locked.

NAB Special Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua asked the court to start proceedings under sections 87 & 88 of Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) to declare Kiyani and others absconders.

Judge Syed Najamul Hassan admitted the request and directed the NAB to start the process to declare the three suspects absconders. The judge also directed the bureau to publish the warrants in newspapers against the three suspects by Feb 11.

Explaining the absence of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, an official of the Kot Lakhpat jail told the court that Mr Sharif was supposed to appear before a medical board.

Mr Sharif’s counsel Amjad Pervez stated that there would be no harm in appearance of the opposition leader in court if the medical board permitted him.

The prosecutor said the defence counsel had been repeating same stance for the last two hearings. He also accused the counsel of employing delaying tactics.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Jan 24 and also directed the NAB to furnish readable copies of the reference filed in the case. Three suspects -- former principal secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad, former director general of Lahore Development Authority Ahad Khan Cheema and Shahid Shafique of Bismillah Engineering -- were produced by the NAB during the hearing.

The NAB in its reference accused Shahbaz Sharif of misusing his powers as the chief minister of Punjab. It said the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) following due approval of its Board of Directors (BoD) awarded the contract for infrastructure development of Ashiyana-i-Iqbal to successful bidder namely M/S Ch. A. Latif & Sons in 2013.

It said a company namely CONPRO Services (Pvt) Limited, which filed a so-called complaint, had bribed then Punjab secretary implementation Fawad Hassan Fawad. The complainant company is believed to be owned by Kamran Kiyani, the NAB said.

The reference said the former chief minister without a lawful authority ordered the PLDC to entrust the housing project to the LDA when Sharif’s close aide Ahad Cheema was heading the authority as its director general. It said the LDA undertook the project under the public-private partnership to give unlawful benefit to a blue-eyed firm M/S Bismillah Engineering Services, which was proxy firm of M/S Paragon City (Pvt) Limited.

The NAB also accused Cheema of misusing his authority with criminal intent and awarding Rs14 billion contracts of the low-cost housing scheme.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019