Court seeks NAB response on pending inquiries against Chaudhry brothers

Pakistan Today

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday informed Lahore High Court (LHC) that a probe into a case pertaining to accumulation of assets beyond means against Punjab Assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his cousin former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Shujaat Husain is in the final phase.
Chaudhry brothers had approached the high court in May challenging three 20-year-old inquiries against them by the anti-graft agency.
A division bench headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan resumed hearing in the petition on Wednesday wherein a NAB prosecutor informed the bench that the bureau has closed an investigation against Elahi in an alleged corruption case for want of evidence.
He said the cases against the PML-Q leaders have been pending for the past two decades.
The LHC directed the NAB Lahore chapter’s director general to appear in a person before it on the next hearing to explain why the inquiries have been pending for such a long time.
The hearing was adjourned till November 26.
The two politicians, in their identical petitions, had said the three investigations were recommended for closure by the investigating officers and the regional board of NAB in 2017 and 2018 when their arch-rivals, the PML-N, were in power.
However, they had said, the NAB chairman approved in 2019 bifurcation of the investigations against them about allegations of assets beyond means 19 years after the investigations were authorised.
They had argued that the so-called order for the bifurcation of the investigations after a lapse of about 20 years was for a purpose other than bonafide and it was prompted by the mala fide intention to “contain and cage” their (petitioners’) and their party’s role in the political arena.

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