Accountability court acquits Jang Group chief Mir Shakilur Rehman in land allotment case

Published January 31, 2022
Editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang Group Mir Shakilur Rehman. — DawnNewsTV/File
Editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang Group Mir Shakilur Rehman. — DawnNewsTV/File

An accountability court in Lahore on Monday acquitted Jang Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman and two others in a reference of a 34-year-old illegal land allotment.

Accountability court Judge Asad Ali announced the verdict in the case that also involves former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. In addition to Rehman, former director-general of Lahore Development Authority Humayon Faiz Rasool and its former director of land development department, Mian Bashir Ahmad, have also been acquitted in the case.

The development was welcomed by senior journalist Ansar Abbasi, an investigative reporter with The News, who said a "case based on lies" by the accountability watchdog was dismissed by the court.

Journalist Raza Rumi echoed similar thoughts, saying Rehman was acquitted in a "bogus case meant to tame him". "The farce of accountability — or witch-hunt of political opponents, media owners, etc — gets exposed every day," he tweeted.

Rehman was arrested in March 2020 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after failing to satisfy their answers in a hearing regarding the case. Later, he was granted bail by the Supreme Court after around eight months in captivity.

The accountability court had in November 2020 issued perpetual arrest warrants for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after completing the process to declare him an absconder in the same reference. Sharif had been declared an absconder for not joining the court proceedings.

The Lahore High Court had on Nov 16, 2019 allowed the former premier to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment.

Also read: SC grants bail to Jang Group chief in NAB reference

The former premier had left for London on November 19, 2019 after he was released on bail from a seven-year sentence for corruption. Three days later he had left the country and has not returned since then.

The accountability court had also directed the NAB to initiate further proceedings under section 88 of CrPC, which entailed attachment of the movable and immovable property owned by the absconder.

The allegations

The NAB in its reference had alleged that Rehman had illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots, each measuring one-kanal, situated in Block-H, Johar Town. It alleged that the allotment of the land had been made in connivance with the then chief minister of Punjab, Nawaz Sharif, in 1986 against the exemption policy and the laws for monetary gains.

It said the suspects caused a loss of Rs143.53 million to the national exchequer through the land allotment in violation of exemption policy.

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
17 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

THE trade ministry’s ‘plan’ to almost double exports to $60bn over the next three years is nothing more than...
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.