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Delay in probe against Bakhtyar: SC dismisses contempt of court petition against NAB – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for not completing investigation against the Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Khusro Bakhtyar.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial Monday heard a contempt petition filed by Advocate Ahsan Abid saying that the NAB has failed to complete the investigation against Bakhtyar. However, the bench declared the petition non-maintainable.

The petitioner contended that in May 2020, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered the NAB to complete an inquiry against Bakhtyar.

He said the NAB by not completing the inquiry in three months had committed contempt.

Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel questioned where in the law it is mentioned that contempt will be contemplated if an inquiry is not complete.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin said that in the LHC order it has been maintained that no contempt was committed, then how the apex court can state that contempt has been committed.

Deputy Prosecutor General (DPG) Imranul Haq said that the NAB, Lahore, after completing the inquiry has referred the matter to the NAB Headquarters.

He said the decision on the inquiry report will be taken in the NAB Executive Board meeting.

Justice Mazhar inquired from the DPG that how much time is allocated for conducting investigation of a case, adding in how many cases time-limit was applied strictly.

Justice Bandial asked the petitioner that if he has personal enmity against the federal minister?

Ahsan Abid replied that he had filed the petition in the interest of justice.

Justice Mazhar Alam then inquired why he is appearing in personal capacity instead of engaging the lawyer.

Justice Bandial told the petitioner that he had not prepared his case well, adding the court could not order an inquiry against a minister or a political leader on the request of anyone.

Ahsan Abid in December 2020 had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court under Article 185 (3) of the Constitution.

He submitted that he had also filed a complaint before the chairman NAB regarding corruption and corrupt practice of Khusro Bakhtyar. The chairman NAB forwarded the complaint to the DG NAB Multan for verification.

The petitioner claimed that according to the DG NAB report, prior to membership of the National Assembly, the whole family of Khusro Bakhtyar, including his two brothers, Omer Shehryar and Hashim Bakht owned 5,720 kanals agriculture land in District Rahim Yar Khan, which was the only source of their income.

However, after induction in the federal cabinet in 2004, the assets in the name of non-public office-holder members of the subject family ballooned to billions of rupees, despite their expenditure on more than 100 foreign trips and expenses on elections.

The subject accumulated assets in the name of his mother, brothers, and their wives, which included sugar mills i.e. Etihad Sugar Mills in Rahim Yar Khan, Two Star Sugar Mills, and Shahtaj Sugar Mills, five power generation companies, four capital investment companies, and one Ethanol Processing Plant.

The petitioner contended that Khusro family’s agriculture property increased from 5,702 kanals to 7,780 kanals, along with six-seven residential houses and plots in different cities of Pakistan. The family received a foreign remittance of approximately Rs797 million during 2011-18.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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