NAB wants Nawaz’s seized properties auctioned

Published April 20, 2021
This file photo shows former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File
This file photo shows former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed an application in an accountability court here on Monday, seeking to dispose of the seized properties of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif through open auction.

The application was filed by NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi. Referring to the accountability court’s order declaring Mr Sharif a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana reference, Mr Abbasi stated that despite a lapse of six months, the former premier did not surrender himself before the court.

He recalled that the accountability court had declared Mr Sharif a proclaimed offender on August 17 and ordered attaching his property on Oct 1.

The NAB application pleaded that the court might proceed with the matter to auction the properties of Mr Sharif in accordance with the law.

It may be mentioned that NAB had submitted a report to the accountability court stating that Mr Sharif owned shares in four registered companies, operated eight accounts, including three foreign currency accounts, had one Land Cruiser, two Mercedes cars and two tractors. His dependent also own properties in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Murree and Abbottabad.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz has already challenged the attachment of properties of the Sharif family in Murree and Chhangla Galli with other properties frozen in connection with the Toshakhana reference because of absconding of her father Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Nawaz filed the petition against the attachment of House No 24-A&B, III, Hall Road, Murree, and a house in Chhangla Galli, Abbottabad, in the Toshakhana case. She stated in the petition that both houses were owned by her late mother Kalsoom Nawaz. She said the two houses had been purchased much before the period mentioned in the reference and after the death of the owner of the houses in question, the ownership devolved upon legal heirs as per the judgement and decree dated May 14, 2019, and the houses were undivided properties in the joint ownership of all legal heirs.

She requested the court that the order dated Oct 1, 2020, was liable to be corrected under Section 88 (6A) of the Criminal Procedure Code and the above-mentioned properties might be released from the attachment.

According to the Toshakhana reference, Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari had obtained vehicles from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of luxury vehicles. NAB alleged that former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif by dishonestly and illegally relaxing the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a cabinet division memorandum of 2007.

The Accountability Court-III of Islamabad had in May last year issued non-bailable warrants for Nawaz Sharif for not attending the court proceedings in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021

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