SC seeks record of case against Jang owner

Published October 9, 2020
Editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang Group Mir Shakilur Rahman. — DawnNewsTV/File
Editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang Group Mir Shakilur Rahman. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court hearing a post-arrest bail plea of Chief Executive of the Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakeelur Rehman on Thursday summoned the NAB prosecutor general and asked the trial court to furnish complete update of the case.

A three-judge SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam had taken up the appeal of the media tycoon against the Lahore High Court’s July 8 order rejecting his bail.

Mr Rehman, who is under detention, was represented by senior counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed who informed the court that his client was arrested on March 12 this year. When asked by the court if any charges had been framed, the counsel said his client was still under judicial remand.

The case has been adjourned and will be taken up after a fortnight.

At the last hearing on Sept 30, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who was earlier heading the three-judge bench, had recused himself from hearing the case, citing personal reasons. Justice Bandial had referred the case back to Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed with a request to fix the matter again, which was eventually fixed for hearing on Thursday.

The appeal argued that the denial of bail to the petitioner amounted to gross misreading of the facts, record and complete misconception of the applicable laws.

The National Accountability Bureau, NAB Lahore director general and assistant director/investigation officer Mohammad Abid Hussain have been named as respondents in the petition.

The petition pleaded that the reopening of a 34-year-old matter relating to exemption of plots with respect to which neither the Lahore Development Authority nor any other authority or owner of the land had raised any grievance inevitably involved consideration extraneous to the law.

“The factum of ingrained mala fides involved in the initiation and continuance of proceedings against the petitioner under the NAO, 1999, in the 34-year-old matter of exemption of land can be well gauged by the manner in which the chairman NAB at Islamabad and the officials of NAB in Lahore acted at tandem with each other on March 12, 2020 to bring about the arrest of the petitioner,” the petition pleaded.

On March 12, the petitioner was called to NAB office at Lahore for submitting his answers to the questionnaire attached with the call-up notice and was subsequently arrested, it recalled. The petition alleged that each and every allegation forming the basis of grounds of arrest was maliciously false and concocted and the arrest of the petitioner had been procured by NAB with ulterior motives and for reasons extraneous to the law.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2020

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