The Lahore High Court on Monday sought para-wise comments from the National Accountability Bureau by March 26 on a petition filed by accused Mir Shakilur Rehman’s wife challenging the arrest and physical remand of the Jang/Geo Group’s owner.
An LHC divisional bench, presided by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the case during which the court also directed the anti-graft body to allow the media tycoon’s personal physician for his routine checkups along with permitting him for his routine walks, sleeping machine, books, newspapers and visits from his counsel.
During the court proceedings, Rehman’s wife tendered a request to the court which pleaded the release of her husband from NAB’s custody as he is ‘not going anywhere nor leaving the country’.
The bench remarked that “all are equal in the Constitution’s eye.
This court does not have different merits for different people, all are equal here”.
As the proceedings commenced the counsel for accused, Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan, questioned NAB’s conduct, arguing Rehman was to give an explanation on his 54-kanal land, which he is accused of acquiring illegally, but “it is astonishing enough that the chairman NAB issued an arrest warrant on the same day”.
He contended that the investigation is being conducted in Lahore but the arrest warrant was issued from Islamabad.
The counsel further prayed upon the court that his client has cooperated with the anti-graft body and has appeared before it, however, he was arrested while he was cooperating.
“The accused is arrested after completion of inquiry but in this case neither the inquiry was completed nor any questioner handed him over,” Aitzaz said adding that his client was handed over to NAB on physical remand.
“Could a habeas corpus petition hear after an accused is handed over to concerned quarter on remand?” Justice Najafi asked Aitzaz.
“We are saying that both issuance of the arrest warrant and granting physical remand are illegal.
Is this the same inquiry in which former prime minister Nawaz Shari was issued notice?” Justice Najafi asked.