LHC seeks final arguments on Khawaja brothers’ bail pleas

The Nation

LAHORE – A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday sought final arguments at the next hearing – May 27 – on the bail petitions filed by former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique in the Paragon City scam.
Headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, the bench heard the post-arrest bail petitions filed by the Khawaja brothers.
Representing the Khawaja brothers, Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, in response to a court query, informed the bench that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had not filed any reference against the PML-N leaders yet. He contended that the bureau had levelled baseless allegations against his clients.
On the other hand, the NAB prosecutor said the bureau had found evidence of money transferred to Khawajas’ accounts.
The petitioners’ counsel replied that his clients had provided all details in tax returns. He pleaded that the amount mentioned by the prosecutor was service charges.
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After hearing the arguments, the bench adjourned the hearing until May 27 and sought final arguments from the parties at the next date of hearing.
Separately, Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court heard a civil miscellaneous application requesting early hearing of the disqualification petition filed against Prime Minister Imran Khan, and set the petition for hearing the next week.
In the petition filed by the Lawyers Foundation for Justice in November 2018, the petitioner had cited the federal government and the prime minister as respondents.
The petition pleads that the issue is of importance so should be set for early hearing. The petitioner says the prime minister during the former government’s tenure had incited people to observe civil disobedience and stage a sit-in in Islamabad. The petition states that Imran Khan had asked the masses not to pay their taxes or send money from abroad as remittances.
Imran, who is now prime minister of Pakistan, had taken measures against the national integrity and tried to ruin the country’s political system, the petition says. It argues that Imran Khan is ineligible to become a member of the parliament under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The petitioner prayed that action may kindly be taken against the incumbent prime minister of Pakistan under Section 124A (sedition) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
In January, 2019, the Islamabad High Court had dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Sita White case. The court had warned the petitioner that he would be fined if he files such a petition again.
The petitioner had sought the premier’s disqualification under Article 62(i)(f) of the Constitution, submitting that the latter provided incorrect information in his nomination papers as he did not mention Tyrian White as his daughter.
Likewise, in a mis-declaration of assets case, the apex court had rejected in December 2017 a petition filed PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi for the disqualification of Imran Khan.
However, the court had disqualified PTI central leader Jahangir Khan Tareen for being dishonest, under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

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