A court of appeals in Lahore on Friday granted a 12-day restitution order for Jang Group’s editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rahman in a property case.
The court initially granted NAB an 11-day refund but added to the date when Rahman’s adviser Aitizaz Ahsan said he would not be available for court on March 24.
Rahman was arrested by an anti-corruption correspondent yesterday when he appeared before the NAB in a 34-year-old case in connection with the 54-year-old allegedly “illegally” found in the employ of Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif.
During a hearing today, Ahsan vehemently denied NAB’s request for physical restitution, saying that “NAB’s position on Shakilur Rahman is based on malice”.
Ahsan said his client’s arrest yesterday was “illegal”, saying that Rahman was cooperating with an accounting watchdog.
“Mir Shakilur Rahman did not run anywhere but NAB did not feel his situation and arrested him,” said Ahsan. “[PML-N’s] Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by the NAB in a similar manner.
“Yesterday, Rahman provided answers to questions asked by NAB. He was arrested illegally,” the defense attorney added, adding that Rahman was arrested for “criticizing, which is his right”.
“How did the NAB chairman issue arrest warrants without looking at Miri Shakilur Rahman’s case file?” Asked Ahsan.
The NAB prosecutor cited Ahsan’s arguments by insisting that Rahman was arrested “after fulfilling the requirements of the law”.
Following his appearance before the NAB party in Lahore last week, Rahman said he had bought the land at the request of a private party and no illegal activity had been made in this regard.
However, according to the NAB, Rahman has been arrested in connection with the illegal release of 54 plans (each person weighing one cans) in the H-block of Jauhar Town phase-II assigned to him by the attorney general’s office on behalf of Hidayat Ali and Hikmat Ali by the Punjab Prime Minister at the time (Nawaz Sharif 1986) were violating relevant laws / rules ”.
Yesterday, Rahman appeared in front of the NAB’s joint investigative team at its Lahore headquarters in Tokar Niaz Beg and answered its questions for over two hours.
“As Rahman was unable to satisfy the NAB team about its inquiries, a warrant was issued for his arrest and detention at the facilities,” an official source told Dawn.
In a statement about the arrest, Jang’s group said: “Over the past 18 months, NAB has sent our reporters, producers and editors, directly and indirectly, twelve notices, for threatening the closure of our stations (via Pemra) due to our reporting and plans about NAB. In its defense, NAB has written that the constitutionally protected institution cannot be criticized. NAB has also in many ways tried to persuade us to slow down, stop the news and make others do it for the full truth.We will not leave any reporter, producer or anchor on any relevant subject and at the same time we will try to install the NAB version. ”
NAB has denied the allegations made by the Jang Group and urged the media to refrain from broadcasting and publishing the news without receiving a spokesperson for it due to a High Court ruling in Arshad Sharif’s case.