Ashiana case: Late arrival of suspects irks accountability judge


–Entire world’s roads blocked but suspects still not produced, remarks judge Syed Najmul Hasan

Accountability court judge Syed Najmul Hasan on Monday lashed out at superintendent of Camp Jail after he failed to produce the suspects on time for the hearing of the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

Lahore Development Authority’s (LDA) former director general Ahad Cheema and ex-principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hasan Fawad, who are both under police custody, were supposed to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court on Monday morning.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, who is out on bail, was also late, which irked the judge who pointed out that the hearing cannot proceed until all the suspects are present in court.

The judge warned that he will issue warrants if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president failed to appear, at which Shehbaz’s lawyer informed the court that his client was on his way.

Judge Najmul Hasan issued a show-cause notice to Superintendent of Police Headquarters Syed Qarrar and Camp jail Superintendent Sarwar Sumra and ordered them to appear before the court within half an hour.

“The entire world’s roads have been blocked but the suspects have not been produced,” the judge said. The suspects then appeared before the judge late.

The accountability judge first took up the Ramzan Sugar Mills case, in which Shehbaz and his son Hamza Shehbaz are nominated. Shehbaz’s counsel told the court that senior lawyer Amjad Pervez was not present as he was occupied in Lahore High Court, urging the judge not to provide the copies of the corruption reference filed by the NAB.

The request was turned down by the court and Shehbaz and Hamza were provided with copies of the reference against them. The hearing was adjourned until March 19.

The hearing of the Ashiyana Housing scam was then resumed. Shehbaz’s counsel requested the court to allow the PML-N president to leave as he was unwell. The judge granted this request and continued the hearing in Shehbaz’s absence.