ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday turned down pre-arrest bail petition of the former Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Mir Shahjehan Khetran and a co-accused Abdur Rasool Zaidi in a corruption reference.

Besides rejecting his bail application, the division bench comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also declined Khetran’s request to remove his name from exit control list (ECL).

The IHC dual bench also directed NAB authorities to expedite investigations in this case for early adjudication of the matter.

Currently, Khetran is facing corruption reference with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under the charges of illegal appointments of 706 people and leasing out PTDC land in Rawalpindi at low rates during his tenure.

The counsel for PTDC, Raja Saim-ul-Haq Satti Advocate, contended before the court that the accused from April 2011 till May 2013 made illegal appointments and leased out the worth millions of rupees property adjacent to Flashman Hotel Rawalpindi at low rates. After the bails of both the accused were dismissed, the PTDC counsel requested the court that since the accused were not present inside the court so the court may initiate proceeding against the persons who gave sureties of the accused.

At this juncture, the court directed the counsel to file a fresh application in this regard.

Arshad Tabrez Advocate, the counsel for Khetran, adopted before the court that NAB initiated a fabricated case against his client based on mala fide intentions.

It was on December 1, 2013 when the federal government had removed Khetran from the post and then National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation into irregularities in PTDC.

Meanwhile, the same division bench of IHC deferred the hearing in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) application seeking bail cancellation of an alleged mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi till second week of March.

The counsel for Lakhvi, Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate, adopted before the court that his client was implicated in this case due to confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab. Advocate Abbasi argued that the IHC bench may direct to produce the judgement of Indian court in this case. At this Justice Siddiqui said how it is possible to produce judgment of the Indian court. “If you have got a copy then you can submit the same,” the IHC bench said to the counsel.

Lakhvi’s counsel said that the court may direct the authorities to produce his client before the court.

Justice Qureshi said that the court would issue directions whenever it feels it is necessary. Justice Siddiqui said that Lakhvi’s appearance before the court involves perils.

FIA Prosecutor Ch Azhar informed the court that since the trial record of Lakhvi is with the high court, the proceedings of this case at trial court were affected. At this the IHC bench directed to dispatch the record to trial court — anti-terrorism court (ATC) — and said that the court could issue directions for reproduction of the record when the case will be taken up once again.

Earlier, ATC Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi had granted post-arrest bail to Lakhvi against Rs 1 million surety bonds on December 18, 2014. Later the federal government had issued Lakhvi’s detention orders under section 3 of the maintenance of public order (MPO). The FIA in it bail cancellation petition has maintained that the accused Lakhvi is an influential person and if his bail would not be revoked, he is likely to influence the trial proceedings of Mumbai attacks case pending before the ATC.