LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted post-arrest bail to Punjab Sports Board former director general Usman Anwar in a case of alleged corruption in youth festivals organised by the PML-N government.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Muhammad Tariq Abbasi allowed the bail subject to two surety bonds of Rs1 million each.

During the hearing, the bench expressed displeasure over prosecution team of the NAB for not rendering proper assistance and failure to come up with clear answers of legal queries.

The bench observed that the prosecution admitted that the petitioner took no personal benefit from the festivals.

It further remarked that government functionaries were not ready to work out of fear of NAB inquiries while roads and streets needed rehabilitation.

The NAB alleged that Anwar being DG of the Sports Board awarded illegal contracts of the youth festivals held in 2011 and 2012. It said the contracts were given to unregistered and blue-eyed companies in violation of procurement rules.

It further said the petitioner was directly involved in financial corruption and also committed misuse of authority.

It claimed that initially the calculated loss to national exchequer caused by the suspect was Rs139 million. However, the investigation revealed that the actual loss was Rs200 million.

On the other side, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the NAB unlawfully reopened an already closed inquiry purely on political consideration. He said the bureau found no evidence of alleged misappropriated money transferred in any bank account of the petitioner.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020