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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s petition to quash an interim reference in the matter of Park Lane properties due to non-availability of his counsel.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri heard the petition of co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

During the hearing, an associate advocate of Farooq H Naek, the lead counsel of former president, sought time due to non-availability of Naek and requested the court to adjourn the hearing.

Accepting his plea, the bench deferred the hearing for an indefinite period.

The PPP co-chairperson filed the petition through Farooq H Naek and cited Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), judge Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad and the federation as respondents.

In his petition, Zardari stated that he is aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the order of accountability court dated 7-8-2020 whereby his application for quashment of the said interim reference and application for first deciding/determining jurisdiction of the Accountability Court in this matter, were dismissed by the AC Islamabad.

He said that an inquiry into some fake bank accounts of Karachi was initiated by FIA in 2015 and noticing delay, the Supreme Court in 2018 took suo moto notice thereof which resulted in Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and its recommendations culminating in order dated 07.01.2019.

He added that in paragraph 37 (v) of the Order dated 07-01-2019 the Supreme Court of Pakistan specifically directed the NAB to act strictly in accordance with law and after inquiry and investigation in case and if cognizable offences are made out the recommendation contained in paragraph 300 of the final synthesis report shall be acted upon and the requisite reference shall be filed in the concerned Accountability Court.

He said that the said interim reference is with respect to loan of Rs.1.5 billion taken by M/s. Parthenon Pvt. Limited from private Banks by pledging valuable immovable property of M/s. Parklane Estate (Pvt) Limited. Therefore, he prayed to the court to quash the reference No. 13 of 2019 being without jurisdiction, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab-initio.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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