LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to start the process to declare former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a proclaimed offender for his constant non-appearance in a reference of illegal land allotment transaction which also involved Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman.
As Presiding Judge Asad Ali resumed hearing, a NAB official submitted a report about the execution of non-bailable arrest warrants of Nawaz. He said the service of the warrants had been executed at the London residence of Nawaz.
The official said Nawaz had been deliberately avoiding the court proceedings.
The judge directed the NAB to start the process to declare Nawaz proclaimed offender and submit a report on the next hearing. The jail officials also produced Rehman before the court while other suspects including former LDA director general Humayon Faiz Rasool and its director land Mian Bashir Ahmad were represented by their lawyers.
The judge extended the judicial remand of Mr Rehman for further 14 days and adjourned hearing till Oct 15.
The NAB in its reference alleged that Mr Rehman illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots each measuring one kanal situated in Block-H, Johar Town. It alleged that the allotment of the land had been in connivance with then chief minister Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy and the laws for monetary gains. It said the suspects caused a loss of Rs143.53 million to national exchequer through allotment of the land in violation of exemption policy.
In this case, the NAB had arrested Mr Rehman while Mr Sharif had been declared absconder for his continuous non-appearance before the investigation team. The other two suspects, former officials of the LDA, were not arrested by the NAB but interrogated only.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2020