Ashiana Housing scam: LHC dismisses Shahid Shafique’s petition against arrest


LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench Tuesday dismissed a petition, filed by Shahid Shafique, owner of Bismillah Engineering, against his arrest in connection with the Ashiana Housing Scheme scam, after declaring it non-maintainable.

The bench, comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the parties, and announced it on Tuesday, directing the petitioner to approach the accountability court first.

Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel questioning the arrest of his client under Section 18, 19 and 24 of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance contended that the sections were no longer effective. He requested the court to set aside the arrest.

However, NAB prosecutor submitted that the accused was arrested in accordance with the law after fulfilling all legal requirements. He said that the petition had become ineffective as the court concerned had remanded the accused in anti-graft watchdog’s custody.

It is pertinent to mention that Shahid Shafique had been accused of illegally acquiring a contract worth Rs14 billion in the Ashiana Housing Project.

The accused, in connivance with the officials of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), had presented fake documents of joint consortium and eventually obtained the contract being the owner of a C4 category company, which was not eligible to get a contract more than Rs150 million of worth.