Ashiana case: Court extends remand of Ahad Cheema, others


LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday extended the physical remand of former director general of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema and three others for 15 days in Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing scheme case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) produced the suspects including Ahad Cheema, Bismillah Engineering’s proprietor Shahid Shafiq Faridi, the former chief executive officer of Punjab Land Development Company Imtiaz Haider, and consultant Bilal Qidwai before the Accountability Court Judge Syed Najamul Hassan amid tight security on expiry of the remand term.

The bureau’s investigating officer submitted that investigation of the case was still underway. He requested the court to extend the physical remand of the suspects for completion of the investigation.

However, the defence counsel opposed the request and prayed to send the suspects to jail on judicial remand.

But, the court allowed the NAB request and extended physical remand till May 11. The court directed NAB to produce the suspects again on expiry of the remand term.

The NAB alleged that Ahad Cheema misused his authority as LDA’s director general and awarded a contract of Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme to Lahore Casa Developers, a joint venture of three companies Bismillah Engineering Services Co, SPARCO Construction Company and  China First Metallurgical Group Co Ltd, which was ineligible for the purpose.

It was claimed that Ahad also received illegal gratification in the form of 32-kanal land from one of the shareholder companies of the said joint venture.