ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) President Shehbaz Sharif’s release on bail in Ramzan Sugar Mills and Ashiana Housing Scheme cases.

The plea was submitted by NAB Special Prosecutor Akram Qureshi in which it was stated that Shehbaz Sharif’s bail approval by the Lahore High Court was contrary to facts.

The NAB took the stance that former Punjab Chief Minister caused loss to national exchequer in Ramzan Sugar Mills and Ashiana Housing Scheme scams and exceeded his jurisdictions. The apex court was requested to nullify the LHC’s decision of bail approval.

The LHC had granted the bail against two surety bonds worth one million each after Shehbaz Sharif filed petition in Ramzan Sugar Mills and Ashiana Housing Scheme cases.

Shehbaz Sharif was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau Lahore in connection with the Ashiana Housing case on October 5, 2018.

He had been charged with misuse of authority by unlawfully assuming powers of the board of directors of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), and awarding a contract to an ineligible proxy firm that resulted in the failure of the housing scheme. The scam caused a loss to the public exchequer and deprived 61,000 applicants of houses.

The PML-N president had failed to satisfy the probing team of the bureau during the investigation before being arrested. The anti-graft watchdog had claimed that the company did not conduct any kind of survey but nevertheless was provided a lucrative sum of Rs1.5 billion.

Ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad became an approver in the case. Fawad Hassan Fawad, in his statement before NAB, had claimed that he had awarded a contract to a “favorite firm” in the Rs14 billion Ashiana Housing project at the behest of Shehbaz Sharif.

The anti-graft agency said that the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons but Sharif cancelled it and later on awarded the contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by ex-Railways Minister Saad Rafique. – NNI


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