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November 14, 2017

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SHC dismisses petitions challenging NAB’s non-bailable warrants

SHC dismisses petitions challenging NAB’s non-bailable warrants

KARACHI: Sindh High Court on Monday dismissed petitions filed by former  ministers Sharjeel Memon and Dr. Asim Hussain challenging accountability courts jurisdiction over issuance of non-bailable warrants.

In NAB's multi-billion corruption reference against former federal petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and co accused, the NAB has accused them of illegally awarding contracts without open bidding, for processing gas from the government gas fields, causing a loss of Rs17.338 billion to the national exchequer. 

Former information minister Sharjeel Memon is also facing Rs. 5. 76 billion corruption reference before the accountability court for giving advertisements through a non transparent process.

The petitioners counsel submitted that accountability court has no jurisdiction to issue non bailable warrants. The counsel submitted that his clients obtained pre-arrest protective bail from the high court. They submitted that the SHC set aside the non bailable warrants issued by the accountability court.

Opposing these petitions, NAB’s prosecutor general submitted that the accountability court has the jurisdiction to issue non-bailable warrants against the accused for not appearing before thecourt after filing of references. He also submitted that non-bailable warrants were similarly issued against Catptain (retd) Safdar.  

SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed that NAB laws should be applied to all provinces equally and without any discrimination. The court after hearing the arguments dismissed the petitions.

Meanwhile, Sindh High Court directed Rangers law officer to file comments in a petition of Dr Asim Hussain’s wife who had challenged Dr Asim's detention under anti-terrorism law in 2015.

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