LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday (today) will have preliminary hearing on petition of former interior minister and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has filed a petition before the Lahore High Court challenging an inquiry initiated by Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) against him.
Sheikh Rasheed is accused of misappropriation of millions of rupees on account of fee in the sale of state land to Royal Residencia Islamabad Housing Society.
The ACE also summoned Rashid and administration of the housing society for investigation on July 15.
In the petition, Sheikh Rasheed counsel denies all the charges against him saying he did not violate any law in execution of the sale agreement. He claims to have private holdings and lands fully declared in tax documents. Rashid says he reached a sale agreement of land measuring 149 kanals situated in Attock against a sum of Rs670 million with a private housing society and received Rs100 million as advance payment.
Counsel stated the remaining amount is supposed to be received at the time of transfer of the land within a period of one year, he adds. He submits that the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 did not apply to the private dealings.
He requested to set aside the call-up notice issued to him by the ACE and restrain the agency from causing any harassment to him.
The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has launched an investigation against Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid in connection with a government fee scam and summoned him for Friday (tomorrow).
Mr Rashid, who is considered close to ousted premier Imran Khan, is accused of misappropriation of millions of rupees on account of fee in the sale of state land to Life Residencia Islamabad Housing Society.
The ACE has also summoned the administration of the housing society for investigation.
According to a call-up notice, the former interior minister has been directed to appear before investigators at the ACE headquarters in Lahore on July 15 along with relevant record. “And in case of non-appearance, a unilateral action will be taken against him [Mr Rashid] under 172/174 Pakistan Penal Code,” the notice says.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz recently hinted at a public rally in Punjab that her party’s government would not spare “Imran Khan and his cronies”.
A source in the PML-N said the PTI government had resorted to political victimisation of its opponents, but the Shehbaz Sharif-led administration would not go to that extend; however, it would certainly not let Imran Khan and his close associates go scot-free on ‘corruption’.
A PTI leader told Dawn that Sheikh Rasheed had been on the radar of the PML-N for a long time as its supremo Nawaz Sharif had a personal grudge against him for his attacks on the latter. “I cannot comment on the ACE inquiry against Mr Rashid, but one thing is for sure that he is among those the Sharifs are not going to spare as long they are in power,” he said.
Earlier, the PML-N-led coalition government had also instituted a money laundering case against Moonis Elahi of the PML-Q, another ally of Imran Khan. Mr Moonis had declined the Sharifs’ offer to make his father Chaudhry Parvez Elahi the chief minister of Punjab in return for their (Chaudhrys) support for the no-confidence motion filed in the National Assembly against Imran Khan.
Mr Moonis has been on bail in the case which he terms ‘fake’ instituted on political grounds.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Wednesday summoned Farhat Shahzadi, known as Farah Khan, a close friend of PTI chairman Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, to appear before it on July 20 in connection with an investigation into income beyond means and money laundering.