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PESHAWAR, April 24: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday stopped National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from proceeding against a divisional superintendent of Pakistan Railways over the alleged cutting of trees at a railway station.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Roohul Amin Khan allowed a writ petition filed by the superintendent, Mohammad Saeed Khan, and observed that on one hand, NAB could not bring back Tauqir Sadiq, who was accused of plundering billions of rupees, but on the other, it had been wasting its time on the cutting of just five trees.

Expressing annoyance over the NAB performance, it observed that the people, who had embezzled millions of rupees, were roaming free without fear as the bureau had been acting as a silent spectator.

Abdul Lateef Afridi and Ibrahim Khan, lawyers for the petitioner, said there were five dead trees near Nizampur Railway Station, which could have fallen any time, and therefore, their client ordered their cutting.

They added that the trees were later kept in a store.

The lawyers said local police first registered an FIR for the cutting of trees and then referred the case to NAB for inquiry.

They said the matter did not fall in the purview of NAB and therefore, the bureau had overstepped its jurisdiction by initiating inquiry into it.

The counsel requested the bench to declare the start of inquiry against their client illegal.

The chief justice observed that it was astonishing that when the pressing issues of corruption could be taken up by NAB, it had been wasting its precious time on a trivial issue.

PROPERTIES SEIZED: The bench ordered the temporary seizure of properties of a weapons contractor allegedly involved in the misappropriation of the multibillion rupees procurement of weapons and vehicles for police.

The order was issued over a petition filed by NAB through its deputy prosecutor general, Mohammad Jamil, about the alleged acquisition of precious properties through ill-gotten money in his and relatives’ name.

After preliminary hearing, the bench ordered the freezing of properties and issued notice to the accused, Arshid Majeed.

NAB has so far arrested two suspects, including Arshid Majeed and budget officer of police Jawed Khan in the case.

According to it, after receiving certain complaints, it had ordered an inquiry against senior police officers and others over the alleged embezzlement in procurement of weapons, equipment and vehicles in 2009-10.

During the inquiry, it was revealed that gross violation of procurement rules were committed by the purchase committee during the award of tenders to contractors, including Arshid Majeed.

The NAB deputy prosecutor general said the accused had several properties, including a precious plot in Defence Housing Authority, Lahore, a bungalow in Chaklala Scheme, Rawalpindi, a CNG station in Peshawar, another bungalow on Fort Road, Peshawar and two plots in Islamabad in his name, a bungalow on Fakhre Alam Road, Peshawar in mother’s name, two plots in Islamabad in son’s name, and two other plots in the name of wife and daughter-in-law.