The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday arrested Lahore Parking Company’s (LPC) former chief Hafiz Nauman from the premises of Lahore High Court (LHC) premises after a division bench dismissed his pre-arrest bail petition in an alleged scam of the company.
The bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Tariq Abbasi and Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf, heard Nauman’s plea. At the outset of proceedings, Nauman, who was on interim bail till November 28, appeared before the bench. NAB’s prosecutor submitted that all accused except Nauman had been arrested in the case. He submitted that the LPC was bound to develop parking sites on 246 places as per the contract with city district government. However, he said, that the company showed only 33 sites functional whereas 132 more parking sites were established on the ground but they were shown non-functional in the record. There was no record of these sites and money obtained from them were embezzled by the accused, he added.
NAB’s prosecutor further argued that the parking contracts were not awarded in accordance with rules and regulations. He contended that the steps caused a loss to the national exchequer and pleaded the court to dismiss pre-arrest bail petition. However, Nauman’s counsel Asad Manzoor Butt argued that all allegations levelled against his client were baseless and contended that the NAB did not have any solid evidence against him. He submitted that the NAB had failed to determine any liability against his client in challan (charge-sheet) submitted in the trial court. He submitted as per contract, it was the duty of the city
district government to provide space for 246 parking sites but it failed and provided spaces for only 33 sites.
He submitted that all contracts were awarded in accordance with rules and regulations. He contended that the NAB initiated an unlawful inquiry into parking contracts issued by the company. He pleaded with the court to extend interim bail of his client. However, the bench after hearing arguments dismissed the bail petition. The bench also dismissed post-arrest bail petitions of LPC’s ex-CEO Taseer Ahmad and former managing director Usman Qayyum who had already been arrested by the bureau.
Meanwhile, NAB arrested five accused in Saaf Pani project scam and sent them on judicial remand. The anti-graft watchdog arrested Public Health Department Deputy Secretary Zahoor Ahmed Dogar for his alleged involvement in Saaf Pani Company board meetings and approval of filtration plants on higher prices. Former chief resident engineer Major (retd) Adnan Aftab was arrested by NAB. Other arrested accused included resident engineer Syed Masoodul Hassan, Moinuddin and Muhammad Younus.
NAB said the accused incurred a huge loss to the national treasury. NAB Lahore had arrested Qamarul Islam and other four accused in April 2018 in Saaf Pani scam. The investigation of Saaf Pani scam has been completed and the reference has entered its final phase.