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LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Thursday disposed of a suo motu notice taken by former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar against PML-N MNA Malik Afzal Khokhar and his brother MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar on the charges of land grabbing and also ordered the federal government to remove their names from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), the Board of Revenue (BoR) and the district government were present in court when a three-judge bench headed by Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik resumed hearing at the Lahore registry.

Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah were other members of the bench.

The Khokhar brothers also appeared before the court along with their counsel Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon.

Court asks dept concerned to proceed against them under law

An ACE official told the bench that five cases had been registered against the Khokhar brothers on the charges of illegally occupying private lands. He said investigation was in progress in all the cases.

Advocate Bhoon pointed out that applications had been filed for cancellation of the cases.

During the hearing, Justice Malik observed that the court was not in possession of any material on the basis of which the suo motu notice was taken. He remarked that the authority given by Almighty Allah should be exercised with caution.

Justice Shah also observed that the court was supposed to work within its constitutional limits.

Justice Malik directed the ACE and other departments to decide the cases and inquiries against the suspects strictly in accordance with law and without being influenced by court’s proceedings.

Justice Malik also rejected a suggestion of LDA Director General Amina Imran Khan to refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau and asked her to take independent decisions instead of using court’s forum.

The bench also asked her to adopt legal course when she complained about alleged harassment being caused to the LDA officials by the ACE. The bench asked the officials had any department taken action against the Khokhars before the suo motu notice.

A BoR official said inquiries conducted by the revenue department held the Khokhars guilty.

Justice Malik directed the BoR official to take action on their own in accordance with law and avoid getting order issued by the court. The bench disposed of the suo motu proceedings and directed the government departments to proceed with the matter in accordance with law.

On the request of the Khokhar brothers’ counsel, the bench also ordered removal of their names from the ECL.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019