NAB files review petition in SC against Khawaja brothers’ bail

August 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday field a review petition in the Supreme Court praying for recalling its order of granting bail to former federal minister for railways and...

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday field a review petition in the Supreme Court praying for recalling its order of granting bail to former federal minister for railways and PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing case last month.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman and director general NAB Lahore filed a review petition in the apex court under Article 188 of the Constitution against the short order of the apex court passed on March 17, 2020 and the detailed judgment dated March 20, 2020 in the instant matter.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Maqbool Baqir and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel had granted bail to Khawaja brothers on March 17, 2020 in Paragon Housing corruption reference after allowing their appeals for surety bonds of Rs3 million each against the order passed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on June 18, 2019

The LHC had dismissed the bail applications of both the brothers and later on they were arrested by the NAB from the premises of LHC in December.

On Wednesday, the anti- graft body prayed the apex court to accept its review petition and recall its impugned order with all consequences besides expunging paragraphs 18 to 48 and 56 to 70.

The NAB contended that the present proceedings are not bail proceedings, but are actually proceedings initiated under the extra-ordinary constitutional jurisdiction conferred upon the high court under Article 199 of the Constitution, adding that this matter could only be heard and finally adjudicated by a three-member bench and not a two-member bench.

“Therefore, assumption of jurisdiction and subsequent proceedings are not in consonance with the Supreme Court Rules 1980, hence not valid,” the NAB submitted.

The anti-graft body submitted that although the apex court had categorically expressed in para 93 that the proceedings are pending determination before the accountability court, thus its observations are merely tentative and would not prejudice the trial, but these observations if not expunged they will prejudice the case of prosecution because the respondent has created successfully a perception that this is a final order and this is evident from the reporting in media.

It further submitted that the entire impugned judgment, especially the observations qua the statement of the approver Qaiser Amin Butt which are per incurim, and they do not meet the threshold set in judgments passed by this august court as well as express the provisions of law contained in Section 26 of the NAO.

In its detailed judgment, the court had observed that the NAB seems reluctant in proceeding against people on one side of the political divide even in respect of financial scams of massive proportion, while those on the other side are being arrested and incarcerated for months and years. “The NAB Ordinance from its very inception became increasingly controversial, its image has come under cloud and there is a widespread perception of it being employed as a tool for oppression and victimisation of political opponents by those in power,” the detailed verdict had ruled.



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