NAB barred from acting against Mashhood

Updated July 04, 2019

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Court seeks reply to reopening a closed inquiry. — DawnNewsTV/File
Court seeks reply to reopening a closed inquiry. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from taking coercive action against PML-N sitting MPA and former provincial minister, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, and sought a reply to a point as to how an inquiry closed by its Executive Board Meeting (EBM) could be reopened.

Mr Khan personally appeared before a two-judge bench to plead his petition along with a counsel against the call-up notices being issued to him by the NAB and placing of his name on no-fly or black list.

“Do you want pre-arrest bail?” Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, who headed the bench, asked Mr Khan after going through his petition.

The former minister, also a lawyer, responded in negative saying he just wanted the NAB to provide him with details and grounds on the basis of which it started reinvestigating old charges against him. He said the NAB had in 2017 closed the same inquiry against him and reopened it in violation of laws.

Court seeks reply to reopening a closed inquiry

His counsel Qazi Misbahul Hassan also presented a copy of the EBM minutes that approved closing of the inquiry into allegations of video clipping/illegal gratification, misuse of funds for flood donations and accumulation of assets beyond means.

He said the board, however, referred the matter to the extent of violation of procurement rules by Punjab Sports Board in youth festivals to the chief secretary for necessary action.

When asked about the legitimacy of reopening a closed inquiry, a NAB prosecutor sought time from the bench to seek instructions on this point from the relevant authority.

The bench adjourned further hearing till July 24 and also sought replies from the ministry of interior and director general of passport regarding placing the petitioner in black list. The NAB was also restrained from taking coercive action against the petitioner till next hearing.

Talking to the media, Mr Khan accused the government of resorting to vindictive actions against the opposition and said he stopped travelling in his personal car since PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah Khan had been arrested by ANF in a ‘fake’ case of narcotics.

The lawmaker said he did not seek bail from the court as the NAB inquiry [against him] was unlawful. He said the bureau was supposed to act in accordance with law and not on personal whims.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2019