ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bu­reau (NAB) has submitted its response before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) praying it to exempt former president from personal appearance in his pe­tition seeking bail in the Park Lane case.

NAB Deputy Prosecutor Gen­eral Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi submitted the NAB’s written re­ply saying that it was not bind­ing on the accused to be present in the court during the hearing of his application for bail, rather it was the court’s prerogative to summon the accused in per­son or not. The statement said the court had the authority and power to exempt Zardari from personal appearance.

PPP co-chairperson Zardari, who is now in NAB custody in connection with the investiga­tion into a fake accounts case, has filed an application before the IHC through his counsel Fa­rooq H. Naek, seeking his pro­duction before the IHC during the hearing of the Park Lane case.

In the written reply, the NAB stated that production of the petitioner before this court may require arrangement of high se­curity and cause inconvenience for other litigants, and in this view, the court has power to ex­empt the personal appearance of the petitioner.

The reply stated that the NAB chairman had issued warrants for Zardari’s arrest in the case titled The State vs Hussain La­wai [fake account case] and that he was arrested after dismissal of his pre-arrest bail petition and he was on physical remand till July 2.

It added, “The investigation is under way and the petitioner is being interrogated. Medical fa­cilities are duly being provided to the petitioner.”

However, the Bureau main­tained in the reply that the court may pass any order deemed ap­propriate which shall be com­plied in letter and spirit.

In his application, Zardari ad­opted before the court that he is required to be produced before the court to ensure the decision of instant petition on merit. He added that well-being of the pe­titioner is a matter of concern during the investigation and this can be resolved by produc­ing the petitioner in the court.