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December 6, 2019

Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case: Court observations in bail matter not prejudicial, says SC

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December 6, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday held that any observation made by the court granting or refusing bail to an accused person in a criminal case is always to be treated as tentative in nature and the same is not to prejudice the trial court in any manner.

The court issued written order in the appeals of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the order of Lahore High Court (LHC), granting bail to Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Fawad Hassan Fawad in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

SC Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa in his written order stated that observation made by the court granting or refusing bail to an accused person in a criminal case is always to be treated as tentative in nature and the same is not to prejudice the trial court in any manner.

On December 3, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa disposed of as withdrawn, appeals of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the order of Lahore High Court (LHC), granting bail to Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Fawad Hassan Fawad in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

Naeem Bukhari, Special Prosecutor National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had submitted before the court that they did not want to press these petitions however, he had pointed out that some observations made in the impugned order passed by the high court might have a tendency to prejudice the trial court during the trial.

The anti-graft body had moved the apex court against the LHC order, granted bail to former Punjab chief minister and incumbent Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shahbaz Sharif and former principal secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Haasan Fawad in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

It prayed to the apex court to suspend the bail granted to Shahbaz and Fawad, contending that the verdict passed by the learned Lahore High Court was against the principles set for granting a bail adding that the trial in the instant case could be affected due to the verdict of the high court. It had further contended that the high court gave the verdict in haste and did not examine the facts in the matter.

In October last year, the NAB Lahore took the former chief minister into custody in connection with the case.