Arguments sought on NAB plea for case closure against Shehbaz

Updated 18 Oct 2020

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In this Sept 28 file photo, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif waves while being escorted at the Lahore High Court. — AP
In this Sept 28 file photo, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif waves while being escorted at the Lahore High Court. — AP

LAHORE: An accountability court on Saturday sought arguments on an application by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking an approval to close an investigation into illegal allotment of 12 plots against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif for want of evidence.

The investigation involves allegation of illegal exemption of plots in Gulshan-i-Ravi Scheme established by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) whereby undue benefit was allegedly rendered on the basis of bogus applications of ineligible claimants/imposters.

The NAB in its application states that during the course of investigation every possible effort was made to associate the exemptees but they are untraceable. Further, the record of the LDA has been burnt and is not available.

It says the exemption is granted on the basis of acquired land only and no evidence came to fore during the investigation which indicates that the allegedly fraudulent exemptions were granted or even influenced by Shehbaz Sharif being former chief minister or his then secretary Javed Mahmood, who is also a suspect in the investigation.

The bureau submits that the LDA did not provide a complete record of its officials involved in the exemption of the plots in question. Therefore, it pleads, an approval for closure of the investigation against the suspects be granted as permissible under the law.

Presiding Judge Jawadul Hassan would resume hearing on Oct 27.

Originally the Anti-Corruption Establishment had initiated the inquiry against Shehbaz and others which was later transferred to the NAB in 2000.

At present, Mr Shehbaz is under the custody of the NAB in the money laundering and illegal assets reference.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020