LAHORE      -   An accountability court on Monday issued notices to Na­tional Accountability Bureau (NAB) for Sept 27 on an ap­plication, filed by Punjab As­sembly Speaker Sibtain Khan, challenging jurisdiction of the court to hear the Chiniot mines and minerals reference.

Accountability Court Judge Zubair Shahzad Kiyani heard the application, filed by the speaker. Barrister Haider Ra­sool, on behalf of the speaker, argued before the court that the matter did not fall under its jurisdiction as Sibtain Khan had been accused of misuse of powers, but not corruption. He requested the court to send the reference to the bureau.

At this, the court issued no­tices to Bureau for Sept 27 and sought reply. Besides Sibtain, Salman Ghani, Muhammad Aslam, Abdul Sattar and Imti­az Ahmad had been named as the accused in the reference, filed by the bureau. The bu­reau had alleged that Sibtain Khan exceeded his powers and awarded a multi-billion contract to a firm of his choice during 2007 when he was minister for mines and min­erals in the PML-Q govt. The bureau stated that the com­pany given the contract had a paid-up capital of Rs2.5m only and also lacked experience, re­quired for the project.