Plea for NAB reference against Khusro Bakhtiar dismissed

Published June 13, 2021
Opposing the petitioner, NAB special prosecutor Asadullah Awan argued that the accountability court had no jurisdiction to order the bureau for filing a reference. — APP/File
Opposing the petitioner, NAB special prosecutor Asadullah Awan argued that the accountability court had no jurisdiction to order the bureau for filing a reference. — APP/File

LAHORE: An accountability court on Saturday dismissed 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, had filed the petition under section 17-C & 18-F of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

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

He said the NAB’s Multan office had conducted an initial inquiry in 2018 into the assets of the minister’s family and found these 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.

Opposing the petitioner, NAB special prosecutor Asadullah Awan argued that the accountability court had no jurisdiction to order the bureau for filing a reference. He said the accountability court could not seek a report during investigation as its jurisdiction starts once a reference is filed before it. He asked the court to dismiss the petition.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Presiding Judge Sajjad Ahmad dismissed the petition for being not maintainable. The reasons for the dismissal of the petition would be given in a detailed order.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Who should vote?
06 Dec 2021

Who should vote?

Logistical issues regarding transparency in the casting of votes also require detailed deliberations.
06 Dec 2021

Weak fundamentals

LAST week, Pakistan’s finance chief Shaukat Tarin sought to reassure the markets and people that our economic...
06 Dec 2021

Winter sports potential

FOR a country blessed with three of the world’s most famous mountain ranges, Pakistan has produced precious few...
Horror in Sialkot
Updated 05 Dec 2021

Horror in Sialkot

All it takes now is an allegation of blasphemy and an individual or two to incite a mob to commit murder.
05 Dec 2021

Iran deadlock

EFFORTS to revive the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna appear to be deadlocked, and...
05 Dec 2021

Reality of AIDS

AS World AIDS Day was marked on Dec 1, it came as a sobering reminder of how newer, major health hazards — the...