LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday granted interim pre-arrest bail to Gujrat’s former district police officer Sohail Zafar Chattha in a NAB reference of billions of rupees embezzlement in the police funds.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Asjad Javed Ghural and Justice Waheed Khan, allowed the bail petition and restrained NAB from arresting the officer till Sept 9. The bench also sought a reply from the anti-graft body to the petition.

Chattha, through his counsel Haider Rasool Mirza, contended that NAB wanted to arrest him in the case whereas he had no role in any alleged embezzlement.

Several other police officers have also been implicated in the case by NAB, alleging that at least Rs3bn had been misappropriated in district Gujrat under different heads, including petrol bills, allowances and martyrs funds of the police department during their posting as DPO.

The LHC had previously released another former DPO, Kamran Mumtaz, on bail in the same case.

The officer said he enjoyed an excellent and unblemished career and was also selected for the scholarship in Australia.

He said NAB had arrested him on his first appearance before its investigation team and failed to present any evidence against him despite keeping him in custody for long.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020