LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti will hear on Monday (tomorrow) an application for early hearing of a petition seeking a restraining order against federal minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and his brother provincial minister Hashim Jawan Bakht on charges of accumulating illegal assets.

Ahsan Abid, a lawyer from Rahim Yar Khan, filed the petition saying the minister and his brothers owned six sugar mills, several investment companies and agricultural land. He said these assets were beyond known sources of their income.

He said the names of the Makhdoom brothers also appeared in ‘Pandora Papers’ and ‘Swiss Papers’ but no action had been initiated against them. He said the Multan office of the NAB had conducted an inquiry during 2018 into the assets of the family and found them unexplained.

He said a regional board meeting on Dec 11, 2018, decided to forward the matter to the NAB headquarters with recommendation for a complete inquiry and further action in accordance with law.

The petitioner said 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.

Sana’s case: A special court (control of narcotics substance) on Saturday directed the prosecution and defence to come up with arguments on acquittal application of former law minister Rana Sanaullah in a drugs recovery case.

Earlier, an application for one-time exemption from personal appearance was filed on behalf of Rana Sana.

A defence lawyer told the court that Rana Sana, being a sitting MNA, was busy in Islamabad in connection with a no-confidence motion filed against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A prosecutor opposed his application as being a delaying tactic. He said the suspects had not been indicted for the last two years.

The court observed that the acquittal application would be decided first before the indictment of the suspects.

The court allowed the application of Rana Sana and directed the lawyers from both sides to come up with arguments on the acquittal plea on April 2.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2022

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