LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday told the Lahore High Court that its regional general meeting (RGM) recommended closure of an inquiry into alleged misuse of authority and corruption in the award of a liquor licence to a hotel against former chief minister Usman Buzdar and others.

The liquor licence was issued by the Punjab Excise & Taxation Department to a newly-constructed hotel situated near Lahore airport.

A report submitted in a petition by M/s Unicorn Prestige Ltd pending before a division bench stated that the RGM sent its recommendations to the NAB chairman for the closure of the inquiry.

Advocate Ijaz Awan, the counsel for the petitioner, contended that the matter was to be concluded expeditiously even before the recent amendments to the NAB ordinance, which rendered the case out of the jurisdiction of the bureau.

He said a single bench of the LHC had already declared that the award of the licence to the hotel was valid.

The bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi disposed of the petition filed by the company operating the hotel in light of the NAB statement regarding the closure of inquiry.

In this case, Buzdar had been granted pre-arrest bail by an accountability court.

Buzdar through a counsel submitted that there was not an iota of evidence on record to suggest that the petitioner derived any illegal pecuniary advantage of benefit in any manner whatsoever. He said no offence was made out against the petitioner for want of arrest under any provision of the NAO 1999.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022

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