Bench formed to hear plea against Cheema’s arrest dissolved


LAHORE: The two-member bench formed to hear the petition challenging ex-Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general (DG) Ahad Khan Cheema’s arrest, dissolved on Saturday.

Following this, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar formed a new bench comprising Justice Qasim Ali Khan and Justice Tariq Abbasi, who will conduct fresh proceedings during the upcoming week.

Last month, the former bench headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najfi had reserved its decision after hearing the case from both sides. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had told the Lahore High Court (LHC) bench that Ahad Cheema was arrested in accordance with the law and after approval from relevant authorities.

It is pertinent to note that the bureau arresting Cheema had alleged that the former abused his power as LDA chairman and awarded the contract of Ashiana Housing Scheme to Lahore Casa Developers (LCD) and Bismillah Engineering, which were not eligible for the project.

Cheema, in response, had rejected all allegations against him stating that he awarded the project according to rules and regulations of Punjab government.

The petitioner also contended that no legal requirements were completed in his arrest and NAB acted beyond its jurisdiction. The petitioner’s counsel told the court that Cheema was being politically victimised through his arrest by NAB. He asked that the arrest be declared null and void.