The Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure the arrest of the former chairman of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) Ayaz Khan Niazi in a pending corruption case.
Following the directives, NAB ordered the Islamabad police to arrest Niazi from the SC premises.
In an effort to clear the backlog of pending SC cases, a two-judge bench — comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Mushir Alam — took up a 2010 suo motu notice on the NICL corruption scandal taken by the then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhary.
The NICL corruption scandal revolves around the alleged misuse of authority during Niazi’s appointment, hampering the investigation process regarding his appointment and corruption committed by the accused along with others, including Mohsin Habib Warraich.
The story of over Rs6 billion NICL scam surfaced in 2009-10 when Mohsin Warraich’s company, Messrs Privilege, had purchased 803 kanals from the NICL at Mauza Toor, Lahore, for Rs1.68b. The company allegedly sold the land without getting the property mutated in its favour.
The NICL sold the land measuring 20 kanal at the Lahore Airport Road to Mohsin Warraich for Rs1.7b. It sold the land at the rate of Rs5.3 million per kanal although its market value was much higher. NICL funds were also embezzled in the purchase of 10 acres of land in Korangi.
During today’s hearing, it was revealed that Niazi was granted bail in the case by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which was first handling the investigation. However, the case was then transferred in 2014 to NAB, due to which the bail granted by FIA became invalid.
In light of these facts, the Supreme Court ordered that the police should arrest Niazi if he does not have bail from NAB.
The court also ordered that Warraich, the other main suspect in the case who has been absconding from court, should also be arrested as soon as possible.
Karachi and Lahore accountability courts have been ordered by the SC to wrap up the case within two months.