SC likely to take up NAB plea against Shahbaz on June 13.

Byline: Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court is expected to take up on June 13 the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) appeal which has challenged the Feb 14 Lahore High Court's decision to release on bail former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and other accused facing a corruption case.

Earlier on May 15, the case was fixed before a three-judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed but the hearing had to be postponed in view of sudden ailment of senior counsel Ashtar Ausaf, who had appeared in the court to represent Mr Shahbaz. Now the bench is expected to resume the hearing on June 13.

NAB has already submitted a report to the Supreme Court claiming to have irrefutable evidence to link the former chief minister of Punjab, Fawad Hassan Fawad, former principal secretary to then prime minister, and Ahad Cheema, former director general of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), in Dec 2013 Ashiyana Housing Scheme

Last hearing of appeal related to Ashiyana Iqbal Housing Scheme scam was postponed due to sudden illness of ex-CM's lawyer


According to charges levelled by NAB, the former CM had cancelled first successful bid for the contract for the housing scheme in bad faith due to which the successful bidder had to be paid Rs6 million as penalty. Later, Mr Shahbaz interfered in the second bidding process and M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd was awarded the contract for 2,000 kanals of land for Rs4 billion and, by using government finances, the public sector project was turned into a public-private partnership only to benefit M/s Paragon City.

When the Ashiyana Iqbal Housing Scheme was launched, a piece of land measuring 3,100 kanals was allocated to the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) by the provincial government. It was adjacent to the land of the Paragon City.

In the first bidding process, according to the anti-graft watchdog, the lowest bidder M/s Chaudhry A. Latif and Sons was awarded the contract for the infrastructure development of the Ashiyana Iqbal, Lahore, on Jan 24, 2013.

The NAB report alleges that Mr Fawad, the then secretary implementation of the project, received Rs55m bribes in two tranches from Kamran Kiyani the owner of M/s Conpro Services Pvt Ltd the second lowest bidder for which the money trail is available.

These amounts were received through banking channels in the names of Mr Fawad's brother Waqar Hassan and Anjum Hassan, wife of Waqar Hassan.

Then the former chief minister ordered an inquiry into...

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