ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) petitions against the acquittal of two PML-N leaders.

The court dismissed NAB plea against PML-N leader and former Faisalabad mayor Chaudhry Sher Ali in a case pertaining to illegal allotment of land. A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Qazi Mohammed Amin Ahmed, heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the Chief Justice said that the accountability watchdog had been unsuccessful in presenting a case against Sher Ali. He observed that a link between the suspect and the persons whose lands were allegedly illegally allotted by him, could not be proven. He said that not even one witness had said that they had recorded their statements under duress from Sher Ali. If NAB’s own witnesses say this, why does the suspect even need a defence team? he asked. The Chief Justice remarked that the suspect’s job is to prove his assets and it is NAB’s responsibility to prove assets that don’t belong to the suspect. The NAB prosecutor said that Sher Ali had made illegal allotments. The Chief Justice responded that being the mayor doesn’t mean that every wrong thing done while he was mayor, will be put on his account.

Appeal against Sohail Zia Butt dismissed for being time-barred

He was mayor in 1983 and the case was formed in 2000, he added. The Supreme Court also rejected NAB’s petition against the acquittal of PML-N leader Sohail Zia Butt in a corruption case against him. A two-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Qazi Mohammed Amin Ahmed, heard the case and dismissed NAB’s appeal for being time-barred. During the course of proceedings, the NAB prosecutor said that the Attorney General and the Advocate Generals can file an appeal within two months. He said that the NAB was also a state institution, so the Supreme Court rules should be amended for filing of appeal. The Chief Justice remarked that the NAB has not filed a request to amend the Supreme Court Rules. The NAB prosecutor said that Sohail Zia Butt has been accused of abusing powers. The accused signed illegal agreement and did not follow it, he added. The Chief Justice responded that does the NAB want that a person should be punished for not doing the wrong thing?

The NAB prosecutor said that Sohail Zia Butt received money illegally and did not fulfil his promise. The Chief Justice remarked that people also gave money to Mangal Bagh for their illegal works. He said that Sohail Zia Butt was not convicted by any court.