ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted time to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) till June 8 for case preparation in the appeal filed by Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal for acquittal in the misuse of authority reference of Narowal Sports City Complex.
The Chief Justice asked the NAB Additional Prosecutor if he knew about Ahad Cheema case. ”Can you imagine the loss caused by NAB? Can it be compensated? Can you bring back Brig Asad Munir”?
Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed the executives take several decisions with good intent that can also cause loss, but it can’t be taken as corruption. “Who would be responsible for the loss occurred because of delay in the public projects executed with the use of public funds”, the IHC CJ questioned. He remarked, “the NAB is responsible for this loss, why the NAB doesn’t file reference against itself now”?
A two-member bench of Islamabad High Court headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard Ahsan Iqbal’s plea for acquittal. Zulfiqar Naqvi Advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioner. NAB Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Bharwana said the court had given two tasks at the last hearing. The court had asked whether a supplementary reference could be filed. It was also asked if it could be a reference without personal financial gain.
Addressing NAB Prosecutor, Chief Justice Athar Minallah said he was satisfied to the extent that it was not a case of corruption, only a case of misuse of authority. The CJ observed it was a public project in which no corruption took place, and public funds were used. You damaged the repute of a person, the CJ noted.
Was it approved by the Central Development Working Party? The body that approved the project was not the only petitioner. Was he just targeted? Did they put a gun at their heads and get everyone to sign? The NAB Prosecutor said Secretary of Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination had become an approver who said he had been pressured. Chief Justice said if the authority was misused, it was done by the Secretary Inter-Provincial Coordination who had the real authority.
“Can anyone put pressure on me as Chief Justice Was pardoning a person meant to make him a witness against Ahsan Iqbal”, he questioned. He had been pardoned for violating the decisions of Supreme Court. “Is NAB encouraging corruption by pardoning the real perpetrators”, the CJ asked.