Maryam granted protective bail ahead of NAB March 26 hearing | The Express Tribune


LAHORE:

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz was granted pre-arrest bail by the Lahore High Court (LHC) till April 12 on Wednesday, ahead of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s March 26 hearing in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Raiwind [Jati Umra] land transfer cases.

The PML-N leader had filed an interim bail application in the LHC out of fear of getting arrested at the hearings.

Taking everyone by surprise, Maryam arrived at the LHC on Wednesday to file her bail application. She was accompanied by Captain (retd) Safdar, Pervez Rashid, Rana Sanaullah, Ataullah Tarar, Khawaja Imran Nazir and Maryam Aurangzeb among other party members.

She maintained in her petition that, “Record relating to Jatti Umra land has been presented before NAB, no physical presence is required, any record if NAB demand will be furnished before NAB, the call-up notices is general and vague and same does not specify the fact, point, nature of the allegation and it’s nexus with the petitioner who admittedly has never remained holder if any public office.”

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She requested that she be granted bail and NAB be restrained from making her arrest.

The petition further states that NAB was targeting political opponents at the behest of the government and that the petitioner may be arrested on March 26 under pressure from the government.

The petitioner’s counsel told the LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan that the impression about NAB had not been good, adding that it calls the person in a separate case and makes arrest in another case.

He prayed to the court that the pre-arrest bail hearing be fixed for today and NAB be restrained from arresting Maryam.

After hearing the arguments, CJ Khan directed the concerned deputy registrar to fix the case by today and further ordered the DSP security to take Maryam safely to the concerned court.

Later, the security took Maryam Nawaz and other PMLN leaders to court where a division bench headed by Justice Sarfraz Dogar heard the matter.

‘Red Zone’

A day ago, the Punjab government declared the premises of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s Lahore office as ‘Red Zone’ for March 26.

Maryam, the daughter of former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, is to appear before the authority in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Raiwind land transfer cases.

Giving the bureau’s request a nod, the federal interior ministry approved the deployment of Rangers and police at the office’s premises for the day.

As per reports, contrary to speculations rife in the provincial capital, the authorities may not arrest the PML-N leader on the occasion. Instead, Maryam will only be presented with a questionnaire pertaining to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Afterwards, she will be questioned regarding the family’s property in the Raiwind land transfer case.



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