LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday issued an admit notice on a petition seeking a direction to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file its investigation report and a reference against federal minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on charges of accumulating illegal assets.

Ahsan Abid, a lawyer from Rahim Yar Khan, filed the petition under section 17-C & 18-F of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

Petitioner’s counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa stated before the court that the minister and his brothers owned six sugar mills, several investment companies and agricultural land beyond known sources of their income.

He said Multan office of the NAB had conducted an initial inquiry in 2018 into the assets of the family of the minister and found them unexplained. He pointed out that a regional board meeting on Dec 11, 2018, decided to forward the matter to the NAB headquarters with recommendation of a complete inquiry and further action in accordance with law.

The counsel argued that the NAB was bound to complete the inquiry and submit its report before the relevant accountability court. However, he alleged, the bureau had not submitted the report due to the pressure of the federal minister.

He asked the court to issue an order to the NAB to submit an investigation report and a reference on the complaint of the petitioner.

After hearing the arguments, Presiding Judge Sajjad Ahmad admitted the petition for regular hearing and issued a notice to the NAB seeking its reply by June 12.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021

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