Accounts freezing: Court directs NAB to submit reply in BRT IT company case

A division bench of the PHC comprising Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Wiqar Ahmad heard the writ petition filed by Abdul Nasir

By Amjad Safi
May 30, 2024
People are seen gathered outside the Peshawar High Court (PHC). — Geo News/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday asked the National Accountability (NAB) to submit a reply in the petition filed against the freezing of two accounts of a private company operating the IT system of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).


A division bench of the PHC comprising Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Wiqar Ahmad heard the writ petition filed by Abdul Nasir, the director of LMKR Resources Pakistan.

Barrister Qasim Wadood and Babar Khan Yousafzai appeared for the petitioner while Deputy Prosecutor General Azim Dad represented the NAB.

Counsels for the petitioner informed the bench that the company of their client was running the IT system, including ticketing, timing of buses, installation of security cameras and its operation at different stations of the BRT.

They said that

NAB, KP, launched an investigation into the embezzlement in the BRT project and a call up notice had also been issued to the company of the petitioner.

At that time, the lawyers pleaded that the company director, Atif Raees informed the NAB that he should be given some time as he was going abroad.

However, the NAB chairman froze two accounts of the company on April 4, 2024 that severely affected financial matters and BRT operations as well.

They argued that the accountability court later also endorsed the NAB action while the fact was that the IT system at BRT was being run by two other companies – Beijing Santel Technology and Beijing E-. Hualu Information Technology Company Limited.

They said that the high courts and Supreme Court had declared in several verdicts that accounts of an accused cannot be frozen until he is proven guilty.

The lawyers presented precedents of Islamabad High Court and others that NAB cannot freeze accounts despite having sufficient evidence against the accused.

They argued that the NAB had no evidence against the petitioner as it had not yet provided an inquiry report to their client.

They requested the court to issue an order for the unfreezing of accounts as the BRT was being run through these finances, adding that the freezing of accounts had risked the BRT closure.

Upon this, the NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Azim Dad told the bench that he would submit a reply while court adjourned the hearing till June 12.