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Tuesday October 26, 2021

Amended NAO 2021: Court seeks arguments on Rabia, Imran acquittal pleas

October 12, 2021

LAHORE: An accountability court Monday sought arguments on acquittal applications, filed by the suspects in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company reference including daughter and son-in-law of Shehbaz Sharif.

The suspects, through their counsel, also questioned the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter in the light of the newly promulgated National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2021. The counsel argued that the allegation in the reference was of “misuse of authority” which was no more in the ambit of NAB after the new amendments. They asked the court to discharge the proceedings on the reference for being without jurisdiction. The court sought more arguments from the suspects’ counsel and the NAB prosecutor on Oct 16.

The properties of Shehbaz’s daughter Rabia and her husband Imran Ali Yousaf had already been attached for being absconders in the reference.The assets owned by the absconders include shares in M/s Ali & Fatima Developers (Pvt) Ltd, M/s Ali Processed Food (Pvt) Ltd, Madina Food (Pvt) Ltd, Ghausul Azam Developers and multiple floors in Ali Towers and Ali Trade Centre on MM Alam Road, Gulberg, Lahore.

Other suspects in the reference include former chairman of Saaf Pani Company Raja Qamarul Islam, also a former MPA of PMLN, former chief executive officer of the company Waseem Ajmal, Masood Akhtar, Waris Ali, Khalid Nadeem Bokhari, Azharuddin and Saleem Akhtar.

NAB alleged that Qamarul Islam, being chairman of the company, committed corruption in the award of contracts of 84 water filtration plants at higher prices. It said the suspect got the contracts of 102 plants approved from the company’s board of directors and committed forgery in the documents.The bureau accused Waseem Ajmal of violating procurement rules and permitting installation of the water plants in Dunyapur tehsil beyond the scope of the project.