ISLAMABAD   -    The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday issued notices to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Pakistan senior PPP leader Faisal Sakhi Butt’s petition seeking court’s directions to restrain the Bureau from its alleged harassment.  A Division Bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the PPP leader and issued notices to NAB directing it to submit its reply in this matter.

Later, the court deferred hearing in this connection for an indefinite period.

Faisal Butt moved the court through his counsel Barrister Masroor Ali and prayed the court to “restrain Respondent No 1 (NAB) from harassing (him),” while stating that the Bureau has “transgressed upon its statutory authority by inquiring into and investigating the purchase of purely private land.”

The NAB had authorised investigations in 2018 against officers of CDA, M/s Park Lane Estates and others.

They have been accused of illegally allotting Forest Department land to Park Lane Estate Company Private Limited, which caused huge loss to national exchequer.

The firm was previously owned by former President Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and few others.

According to NAB investigations, Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Ltd jointly owned by the former President, his son and a few others, purchased almost 2,500 kanals of land near Sangjani in March 2009 from Faisal Sakhi Butt.

They said that during PPP’s last government, an attempt was also made to change the status of Zone-III of Islamabad, where any kinds of construction activities are banned under zoning regulations.

PPP leadership also tried to get permission of commercial activities through the Federal Cabinet.

In his petition, Butt said that “the act of inquiring into and investigating a purely private sale transaction where no public money or misuse of authority is involved, being outside the purview of the NAB Ordinance 1999, is ultra vires, illegal, unlawful and repugnant to the Constitution.”

He said that the NAB investigation team had sent him call-up notice and he had appeared before the Bureau and produced all documents, record pertaining to the purchase of land.

“Despite the submission of all the available record pertaining to the purchase of land, and subsequent sale including decree of this honourable court to the Investigation Officer, the NAB sent yet another call up notice,” and asked to submit the documents once again, he said in the petition.