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September 19, 2019

Ex-minister granted bail in mining contract case

Lahore

September 19, 2019

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Wednesday granted post-arrest bail to PTI leader and former provincial minister Sibtain Khan in Chiniot mining contract case.

The bench directed the former minister to furnish two surety bonds of Rs 5 million each to secure the bail. The division bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the post-arrest bail petition filed by the former minister.

Advocate Haider Rasul Mirza appeared on behalf of Sibtain Khan and submitted that the bureau arrested his client on baseless allegations in connection with mining contract case. He argued that Sabtain Khan, being a minister for mines and minerals in 2007, only forwarded the summary moved by the then secretary whereas there was no allegation of causing loss to the national exchequer or gaining monetary benefit against him. He pointed out that the bureau conducted an inquiry into the case earlier but it was closed after no evidence was found against his client.

He pleaded with the court to grant bail to his client, saying that he had been sent to jail on judicial remand and no longer required for investigations. However, National Accountability Bureau's prosecutor opposed the bail petition, arguing that Sibtain Khan allegedly awarded an illegal multi-billion dollar contract to an alleged fake company for extracting minerals in Chiniot.

The bench, after hearing the arguments, granted bail to Sabtain Khan and directed for submitting surety bonds for the purpose. Sibtain Khan had resigned from his position as provincial minister for Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife after being arrested by the bureau on June 15, 2019.

Sibtain Khan was arrested on the charge of illegally awarding a multi-billion-dollar contract to an alleged fake company in 2007. As a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) minister for mines and minerals at that time, he had awarded a contract for extracting minerals in Chiniot district.

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