Published in Dawn, on Dec 20th, 2018,
The Supreme Court has decided the hearing on the bail application of the accused in the Ashiana Housing Scheme case will be held after the winter vacations and observed that there are very limited chances of bail in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases.
A three judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was informed by the NAB prosecutor that the supplementary references against Shehbaz Sharif and Fawad Hasan Fawad had been prepared and the NAB chairman had already signed them according to the law. He added that only the filing of the supplementary references was left and all other phases had been completed.
The counsel for the accused Azam Nazir Tarar pleaded that the situation in Punjab was that all except the lawyers had been arrested. He said that his clients, Bilal Qidwai and Imtiaz Haider were under custody since March 2018.
He shared that investigations against both of them had been completed. He added that no crime against his client had been proved but they were still kept in custody.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said the SC had given judgement that bail in NAB cases can be granted in extraordinary situations only. There are only very little chances of bail in NAB cases.
Ali Raza, the counsel of the accused Munir Zia and Sajjad Bhutta told the court that reference had not been filed against his clients and the court had held in many judgments that the benefit of delay in filing references would go to the accused.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said that he was asking for bail for the reference that had not been filed. Then even the accused of murder will have to be freed.
The court adjourned the hearing and held that the decision of the bail applications would be made after hearing the investigating officer after the winter vacations.
Earlier this month, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was sent to Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison on judicial remand by an accountability court.
Presented before accountability court judge Syed Najamul Hasan, the prosecution failed to convince the court for an extension in Shehbaz’s physical remand and the court rejected the request after hearing the prosecution’s arguments, Express News reported.