SC slams NAB over its tackling of NICL corruption case


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday blasted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) corruption case hearing, over its tackling of a major corruption case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard Rs6-billion-plus embezzlement case.

Justice Gulzar while summoning a key accused Mohsin Habib asked NAB why the accused was not arrested and still moving freely?

“The NAB had summoned Mohsin Habib”, the accountability bureau’s prosecutor told the bench. “Then the NAB had offered him tea and cakes,” Justice Gulzar sarcastically said. The SC had ordered against his arrest, the prosecutor replied. “But that order was for two days,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan, another member of the bench, said.

“What is the problem of NAB,” Justice Gulzar asked. “Everything is wrong in NAB. They fear to tackle the influential people. Is there some institution to made the NAB accountable”, the justice asked.

The counsel of Habib informed the bench that his client was presently in Lahore.

The bench summoned Mohsin Habib and the NAB prosecutor in the next hearing of the case and adjourned further hearing till next week.

The story of the over Rs6 billion NICL scam broke in 2009-10 when Mohsin Warraich’s company, Messrs Privilege, purchased 803 kanals from the NICL at Mauza Toor, Lahore, for a sum of Rs1.68b. The company allegedly sold the land without getting the property mutated in its favour.

The NICL also sold land measuring 20 kanals near the Lahore Airport Road to Mohsin Warraich for Rs1.7b. It sold the land at a rate of Rs5.3 million per kanal, although its market value was much higher.

Initially the scam was being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but it was transferred to NAB in 2014 on the directives of the Supreme Court.