ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday prayed to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to reject Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal’s petition challenging Accountability Court’s verdict of rejecting his petition seeking acquittal in a corruption reference.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz conducted hearing of the petition moved by Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) leader.

During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor submitted its response in the appeal of Ahsan against the AC’s verdict and adopted the stance that the department wanted to submit more documents in the case. The prosecutor stated that the accused had been indicted in the reference and the court had testified three witnesses in the case.

Justice Athar remarked that the reference of NAB was basically a challan and the reference was supposed to be filed after the completion of investigation. He said that trial should be completed within 30 days as per the law.

Justice Athar also remarked that the accountability process of the Bureau is not across the board rather it is being used against the political leaders. He also regretted that the politicians have not learnt anything from the history.

Narowal Sports City Complex reference

Division bench hears petition moved by PML-N leader

The IHC Chief Justice said that in the past, it was alleged on the patriotic people that they were not loyal to the country. He mentioned that it was alleged on the Awami National Party, Khair Bux Muree and Ataullah Mengal that they were not loyal to the country and against the state.

However, the NAB prosecutor said that the reference had alleged Ahsan Iqbal for misusing his powers in Narowal Sports City Complex project. The IHC Chief Justice asked from the NAB prosecutor to tell that how a reference is prepared in light of this court’s verdict in Masood Chishti case. He further said that the court would accept the acquittal plea if the bureau failed to answer.

Then, the Federal Minister came to the rostrum and stated that he had offered the NAB to prove increase in his assets after he joined the politics. He said that the NAB was just damaging his repute.

Later, the IHC bench deferred the hearing of the case till May 11 for further proceedings.