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Jang-Geo Editor-in-Chief’s bail plea pending for over a month

By Our Correspondent
June 16, 2020

LAHORE: A new two-judge bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) will now take up the bail petition filed by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor-in-Chief of Jang/Geo Group.

The editor-in-chief had challenged his arrest by the NAB and judicial remand on the constitutional and legal grounds. The petition has been pending for over a month.

The LHC, after seeking reply from the NAB on the plea, had adjourned the hearing till May 28 after Eidul Fitr holidays. But, the case could not be heard as the May 28 cause list of the bench, headed by Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, had been cancelled.

A new bench, headed by Mr Justice Tariq Abbasi, was formed to hear NAB cases from June 1. The editor-in-chief’s petition was fixed before the bench for June 11, but a bench member, Mr Justice Farooq Haider, proceeded on a weeklong leave due to which the petition could not be heard on June 11, and was fixed for June 17. Mr Justice Farooq Haider had to resume duty on June 15, but he again proceeded on leave from June 15.

Since the period for which the bench had to work was expiring on June 16, the chief justice re-formed the bench with Justice Miss Aalia Neelum in the chair and Justice Tariq Abbasi as its other member. The bench would start judicial business from today (June 16).

Meanwhile, an accountability court, headed by Judge Jawadul Hassan, Monday extended judicial remand of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman till June 29.

The authorities did not produce Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman before the court due to his health condition and Covid-19 protocol. Prosecutor Asim Mumtaz presented arguments on behalf of the NAB while Advocate Muhammad Nawaz represented the editor-in-chief. It is pertinent to mention that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is in custody in a 34-year old private property deal for more than 95 days. No case could be registered so far.