The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) petition against the acquittal of PML-N leader and former Faisalabad mayor Chaudhry Sher Ali in a case against him.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa said that the accountability watchdog had been unsuccessful in presenting a case against Ali.
Chief Justice Khosa said that a link between the suspect and the persons whose lands were allegedly illegally allotted by him could not be proven.
He said that not even one witness had said that they had recorded their statements under duress from Ali, adding: "If NAB's own witnesses say this, why does the suspect even need a defence team?"
"The suspect's job is to prove his assets. It is NAB's responsibility to prove assets that don't belong to the suspect," the chief justice remarked.
During the proceedings, the NAB prosecutor said that Ali had made illegal allotments. However, the chief justice responded: "Being the mayor doesn't mean that every wrong thing [done while he was mayor] will put on his account. He was mayor in 1983 and the case was formed in 2000."
In 2002, a Rawalpindi court had sentenced Ali to five years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs100 million on charges of accumulation of movable and immovable assets through corruption through his public office. He had also been disqualified from holding any public office or applying for any financial facility from a state-controlled DFI for a period of 10 years.
In another case, he was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs20 million.