An accountability court in Lahore on Thursday indicted Jang Editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rahman and two others in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference pertaining to a 34-year-old “illegal land allotment” in his favour, that was allegedly manipulated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Accountability court Judge Asad Ali presided over the hearing in which two other accused in the reference were also present in the court, former director general of Lahore Development Authority Humayon Faiz Rasool and its former director of land development department Mian Bashir Ahmad.
All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges after which the court ordered NAB to summon its witnesses to record their statements at the next hearing on February 16.
Rahman was arrested in March 2020 by NAB after he had failed to satisfy their answers in a hearing regarding the case.
The NAB land allotment reference had alleged that Rahman had illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots in 1986, each measuring one-kanal, situated in Block-H, Johar Town. It alleged that the allotment of the land had been made in connivance with the then chief minister of Punjab, Nawaz Sharif, against the exemption policy and the laws for monetary gains.
It further said the suspects had caused a loss of Rs143.53 million to the national exchequer through the land allotment in violation of exemption policy.
Rahman was granted bail by the Supreme Court in November 2020 after months in jail while PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif — the fourth accused in the case — was declared an absconder by the accountability court and perpetual arrest warrants were issued for him in the same month.