NAB files review petition in Paragon Housing Society case

Web Desk
August 12, 2020

Accountability watchdog asks court to take back bail and review some paragraphs of judgment

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Accountability watchdog asks court to take back bail and review some paragraphs of judgment. Photo: File

The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on the bail granted to the Khawaja brothers in the Paragon Housing Society case.

The anti-corruption watchdog has asked the court to take back the bail granted to PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique. It has also asked the court to review paragraphs 18 to 48 and from 56 till 70 of the judgment.

“Some remarks of the decision can affect trial court decisions,” said NAB in its petition. It also said that the verdict contains strong remarks against witness Qaiser Amin Butt.

The bureau has contended that the remarks in the judgment "do not meet the criteria set in a previous verdict" issued by the apex court. It said that under the rules, a three-member bench can hear cases related to NAB and in this case, a two-member bench heard the plea and issued the verdict.

“The court has violated clear rules set by a larger bench,” said NAB in its plea. It added that the apex court has already said that decisions regarding bails should be "brief", but the bench violated the court verdict by issuing an 87-page judgment.

Last month, NAB had hinted that it will go for a review against the verdict of the two-member bench of the Supreme Court in the Paragon City corruption case.

Amjad Parvez, counsel of Khawaja brothers, had told The News at the time that NAB had a hopeless case for review, as the option is only taken and considered when there is a legal and actual error in the judgment. Amjad said there is no legal and actual lacuna in the judgment of the apex court in the Khawaja brothers bail judgment.

Amjad further said the Supreme Court has clearly stated in its judgment that observations in order are merely tentative in nature and will have no bearing on the outcome of the reference.

SC lambasts NAB over malintentions, political revenge

The Supreme Court had lambasted NAB in its detailed verdict on the bail petition filed by PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing Society case.

In the detailed, 87-page ruling, penned by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the court highlighted severe lapses in NAB's due process and legal procedure, the definition and purpose of bail, and due processes in criminal cases.

Justice Baqar had said in the verdict that the present case was "a classic example of trampling fundamental rights, unlawful deprivation of freedom and liberty and the complete disregard for human dignity as guaranteed by the Constitution".

The judge had also slammed Pakistan's anti-graft watchdog, NAB, over various actions and processes, saying its "conduct throughout this case is a clear manifestation of their utter disregard for law, fair play, equity and propriety".

Soon after the decision, the main opposition parties PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party had called for the abolishment of NAB, a call which was backed by the Human Rights Watch.

The decision was also hailed by the Pakistan Bar Council.

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