Notices issued to NAB on Ahad Cheema bail plea in assets case

Notices issued to NAB on Ahad Cheema bail plea in assets case

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Thursday issued notices to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities on a bail petition filed by former director general Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Khan Cheema in assets beyond means case against him.

The division bench, consisting of Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf, heard the bail petition.

During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel argued that NAB initially arrested his client in connection with Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scam despite the fact that he extended complete cooperation to authorities in investigations.

He submitted that during the custody of the bureau, DG NAB issued another warrant of arrest and his client was also arrested in assets beyond means case.

He submitted that the bureau had filed a reference against Ahad Cheema in the accountability court, wherein it was alleged that he and his family members owned illegal assets of worth Rs 440 million.

He submitted that the trial court had framed charges and summoned prosecution witnesses after Ahad Cheema pleaded not guilty.

The counsel contended that all the charges levelled against his client were baseless and the bureau did not have any evidence against him.

He submitted that Ahad Cheema was behind the bar since February 2, 2018 whereas the trial was at an initial stage and its conclusion was not possible on account of the peculiar charges.

Hence, imprisonment for an indefinite period would be tantamount to punishment before trial, he added.

He pleaded with the court to grant bail to Ahad Cheema, as investigations had been completed in the case and no more confinement was required.

The bench after hearing initial arguments issued notices to NAB authorities for April 11 and sought reply while adjourning further hearing.