SC extends bail of investment scheme operator by two weeks

Published September 2, 2021
The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended by two weeks the interim bail granted to Saifur Rehman, who operates a Mudarba firm by the name of B4U Investment Company. — AFP/File
The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended by two weeks the interim bail granted to Saifur Rehman, who operates a Mudarba firm by the name of B4U Investment Company. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended by two weeks the interim bail granted to Saifur Rehman, who operates a Mudarba firm by the name of B4U Investment Company, on Aug 30 after he was whisked away from the court’s premises by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) Umar Ata Bandial, asked Saifur Rehman to submit a surety bond of Rs2 million with a directive to NAB to submit a report about the action taken against the officials who nabbed the accused from the court’s parking lot on Monday.

Syed Asghar Haider, the bureau’s prosecutor general (PG), informed the court that the 10 personnel who arrested the accused were present in the courtroom and had expressed regret over the unfortunate incident.

This prompted the ACJ to ask the prosecutor general to explain the standard operating procedure followed by NAB to arrest an accused.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial pointed towards Irfan Naeem Mangi, the director general of Rawalpindi NAB, and asked whether or not he was an engineer. Mr Mangi replied that he had been serving the bureau for the last 17 years.

He informed the court that Saifur Rehman, the accused in the case at hand, had once run away from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after the dismissal of his bail plea.

Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider said the size of the investment fraud was Rs116 billion, with over Rs100 billion in suspicious bank transactions. The affected persons numbered over 400,000.

He said one of the four wives of the accused was a Malaysian national and the alleged mastermind behind the entire fraud. “We have every reason to believe that given the chance, the accused could flee Pakistan any time via Iran.”

The bench made it clear that the oppressed and the oppressor were equal before the law until the court came up with its verdict. It refused to accept an apology on behalf of NAB personnel, adding the authorities should submit a written statement to express remorse.

The court reminded the bureau that it could sentence the staffers who whisked away Saifur Rehman to a jail term of six months.

Justice Mazhar Alam Khan recalled some previous incidents of detention, saying it was regrettable that the NAB authorities detained suspects by simply issuing call-up notices. Complaints about the behaviour of investigating officers were common, he added.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021

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