An accountability court on Monday sought arguments on acquittal applications filed by the suspects in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company’s reference including daughter Rabia and son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly ex-Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif.
The applicant challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter in light of the newly promulgated National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2021. Applicants’ counsel said that the allegation in the reference was of misuse of authority which was no more in the ambit of the NAB after the new amendments.
He requested to discharge the proceedings on the reference for being without jurisdiction.
The court sought more arguments from the suspects’ counsel and the NAB prosecutor on October 16.
Other suspects include former chairman of Saaf Pani Company Raja Qamarul Islam, also a former MPA of PML-N, former chief executive officer of the company Waseem Ajmal, Masood Akhtar, Waris Ali, Saleem Akhtar, Khalid Nadeem Bokhari, and Azharuddin.
Properties of Rabia and Imran had already been attached for being absconders in the reference.
The assets owned by the absconders include shares in M/s Ali & Fatima Developers Pvt Ltd, M/s Ali Processed Food Pvt Ltd, Madina Food Pvt Ltd, Ghausul Azam Developers, and multiple floors in Ali Towers and Ali Trade Centre on M.M Alam Road Gulberg, Lahore.
The NAB alleged that Rana Qamarul Islam, being chairman of the company, committed corruption in the award of contracts of 84 water filtration plants at higher prices. NAB further alleged that the suspect got the contracts of 102 plants approved from the company’s board of directors and committed forgery in the documents.
NAB also accused Waseem Ajmal of violating procurement rules and permitting the installation of the water plants in Dunyapur Tehsil beyond the scope of the project.