LHC judge recuses himself from Asif bail plea

Published June 2, 2021
This file photo shows PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif. — AFP/File
This file photo shows PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif. — AFP/File

LAHORE: A member of a Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday recused himself from hearing post-arrest bail petition of PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif related to an inquiry into assets beyond means and money laundering initiated against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The petition came for hearing before the bench comprising Justice Alia Neelum and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural. However, Justice Ghural recused himself from hearing the petition for personal reasons and the bench referred the case to the LHC chief justice for fixing it before another appropriate bench.

NAB alleges that Mr Asif has failed to explain sources of his income and assets. It says he was elected senator for the first time in 1991 when his assets were worth about Rs5 million. However, the assets swelled to Rs221m by 2018, which is beyond known sources of his income.

NAB arrested Mr Asif in Islamabad on Dec 29, 2020 and later shifted him to Lahore where he remained on physical remand till Jan 22. Mr Asif is a member of the National Assembly from NA-73, Sialkot.

His counsel contended in the bail petition that the petitioner during his 22-day physical remand with NAB had not been confronted with any evidence which could prove that he owned assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021

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