LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended physical remand of Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman to the NAB in a case of 54-kanal land allegedly allotted to him by then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif in 1986.
A NAB prosecutor assisted by the investigating officer submitted an application to the court seeking another remand of Mr Rehman for further 15 days. He said the bureau required to record statements of some officials, including then LDA director general. Therefore, he said, further custody of the suspect was required.
Advocate Amjad Pervez made his appearance on behalf of the media mogul and opposed further remand sought by the prosecution. On the last hearing, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had represented Mr Rehman.
The counsel argued the NAB chairman had not approved any inquiry against his client from Feb 28 to March 5. He said the suspect volunteered his appearances before the bureau.
He argued the trial court would have to see whether the arrest of the suspect was in violation of parameters recently set by a judgment delivered by the Islamabad High Court. He said it was a first case of its kind wherein the NAB chairman showed so much haste by issuing arrest warrants on the same day of the suspect’s appearance before an investigation team.
Advocate Pervez asked the court to send the suspect on judicial remand as there was no need to grant his further custody to NAB.
However, Presiding judge Jawadul Hassan extended physical remand of Mr Rehman for 13 days and directed the NAB to produce him again on April 7.
The NAB alleged that Mir Shakil illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots each measuring one-kanal situated in Block-H, Johar Town. It said the allotment of the land had been in connivance with then chief minister Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy and the laws for monitory gains.
Meanwhile, Geo TV said on Wednesday that Mir Shakil had approached the Lahore High Court with a bail petition.
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2020