Tuesday May 24, 2022

Kh Asif caused no loss to national exchequer: LHC

By Amir Riaz
July 08, 2021

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a detailed order pertaining to granting bail to PML-N leader Khwaja Asif and observed that he has not caused any loss to the national exchequer.

Two weeks ago, an LHC division bench had granted bail to the PML-N leader in a case against him filed by the NAB which accused him of money laundering and owning assets beyond known sources of income.

On Wednesday, the LHC bench comprising Justice Aalia Neelam and Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi issued an 18-page detailed order. “Neither there is any tangible material nor even circumstantial material to prima facie conclude that remittance of Rs 107 million was generation of the proceed of crime .The foreign remittance declared in income tax return carries the presumption of truthfulness. Even the Federal Board of Revenue record regarding the petitioner’s (Kh Asif) claim has supplemented his claim regarding the properties, income gained by him and foreign remittance. It is an admitted position that the petitioner did not cause any loss to the government exchequer,” the order read.

The court said that the audit unit report of 2014 revealed that no discrepancies were found during the conduct audit. The salary has been paid by the federal government as MNA/minister for the year under consideration and tax has been duly deducted.

The court observed that the special prosecutor admitted that it is not the case of prosecution (NAB) that Kh Asif acquired assets after receiving kickbacks or any ill-gotten money or misuse of authority or corruption. So, in view of the statement of the special prosecutor, it is not the case of prosecution that Kh Asif by abusing his position acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The court order said that the investigating officer's report reveals that investigation against Asif is ongoing. The NAB prosecutor said that the reference against Khwaja Asif should be sent to the NAB chairperson. The allegation of assets in excess of income against Kh Asif is under investigation. No reference has been filed against the PML-N leader to date.