A new report presented in the Supreme Court on Tuesday (SC) by the joint investigation team (JIT) – constituted to probe the transfer of Pakpattan shrine land – accused ousted premier Nawaz Sharif of illegally allotting Auqaf Department land.
Nawaz had earlier denied the charges and had claimed that he was involved in no such deed during his tenure as Punjab’s chief minister 30 years ago.
During Tuesday’s hearing of the case, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar was irked by the former premier’s repeated denial and warned that the apex court may approach the anti-corruption watchdog to register a case.
JIT head Hussain Asghar further informed the court that land that was originally set out for Hujra Shah Mukeem and Darbar Hafiz Jamal was also illegally allotted. Nawaz denies illegal transfer of Pakpattan shrine land in 1985
The chief justice said the land was illegally allotted in 1986 and reiterated that if an investigation is launched, no one will be able to save themselves. He also wondered how and why was the land allotted illegally while lamenting that “crooks” acquired the land and then sold it forward.
Asghar alleged that Nawaz illegally allotted all the land during his tenure as the chief minister of Punjab, while also informing the court
that two inquiry reports were issued in 2015 and 2016 respectively, with only the first one containing Nawaz’s name.
Justice Nisar was quick to dismiss the possibility of a third report and said that times have changed.
The chief justice also set a two-week deadline for replies from the Punjab Government and the former prime minister.
In 2015, the then chief justice Nasirul Mulk, while hearing a matter related to the land dispute, took suo motu notice of the illegal allotment of the land of the shrine of Hazrat Baba Faridud Din Masud Ganj Shakar, in 1985.
In October, the top court directed Sharif to submit his reply in the matter of withdrawal of the notification, concerning the Auqaf property attached with the shrine.
In response to the court’s order, Sharif stated that he did not recall having ever passed any such order. The bench had termed Sharif’s reply vague and asked him to personally come and explain as to why he had de-notified the notification.