LAHORE: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Monday approached the Lahore High Court for post-arrest bail in Chaudhry Sugar Mills/money laundering case being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem will take up the bail petition on Tuesday (today).
An accountability court last week denied further physical remand of Ms Nawaz and her cousin Yousaf Abbas to the NAB sending them to jail on judicial remand. They remained on physical remand for 49 days after their arrest on Aug 8.
NAB mainly accused Ms Nawaz of committing money laundering through investments of variable heavy amounts being main shareholder of Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM). It said she was involved in money laundering with the help of some foreigners during the period of 1992-93 when her father Nawaz Sharif was prime minister.
Filed through Advocate Amjad Pervez, the petition said all properties of the Sharif family, its business concerns and companies including the CSM had already been thoroughly investigated by the JIT formed by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case.
It said the SC had not directed NAB to file any reference regarding the CSM or assets owned by Ms Nawaz.
The petition argued that section 9 (a) (v) of the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 envisaged a single offence, commission of which may result in acquisition of multiple assets or pecuniary resources by an accused person. But, it said, acquisition of each asset or pecuniary resource could not amount to a separate offence under the ordinance.
Therefore, it stated the authorisation of an inquiry regarding same offence and assets tainted with mala fide intention and tantamount to colourable exercise of power by the NAB chairman.
It also questioned the jurisdiction of the bureau’s chairman for approving the impugned inquiry under Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.
Moreover, it said neither the petitioner nor co-suspect Abbas ever held any public office or remained dependent upon Mr Sharif. Therefore, it argued, mischief of section 9 (a) (v) of NAO 1999 was not attracted in the case. It asked the court to release the petitioner on bail.
Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2019