Judicial remand of Mir Shakil extended further till June 1

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LAHORE: An accountability court extended judicial remand of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, owner and Editor Inchief, Jang and Geo TV further till June 1. He was arrested on March 13 and  is presently lodged at Camp Jail, Lahore

The court took this action in illegal plot allotment case. Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the case proceedings. However, jail authorities did not produce Mir Shakil before the court due to Covid-19 protocol. District Jail Assistant Superintendent Ashiq Hussain appeared before the court with a jail report.

Accountability Court Judge Jawadul Hassan inquired where Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is. To which the jail official replied that the accused is in jail and could not be produced before the court due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman

The judge, while addressing the jail official, said don’t mislead the courts. The judge said the government has no authority to issue orders to suspend court proceedings. There is no provision in the law, which allows governments to lead the courts, the judge said and added he has no objections to SOPs made for court proceedings but the wording of SOPs is like dictation to the courts.

Meanwhile, a Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on a bail petition filed by Jang/Geo Group chief Mir Shakilur Rahman in illegal plot allotment case.

The bench comprising Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider heard the post-arrest bail petition filed by Mir Shakil.

Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, on behalf of the petitioner, argued before the court that present bail petition had been filed on fresh grounds. He stated that Mir Shakil had been sent to jail on judicial remand and he was no longer required for investigations.

He pleaded with the court to grant the benefit of bail to his client as he was no longer required for investigations. Subsequently, the bench issued notices to NAB for May 28 and sought reply to the petition.

At this stage, Amjad Pervaiz told the bench that the bureau had also summoned then chief minister Nawaz Sharif in connection with case but he had not joined investigations yet. It is pertinent to mention here that LHC had previously rejected two petitions filed by Mir Shakil and his wife challenging arrest and physical remand of Mir Shakil.

The NAB had alleged that Mir Shakil obtained illegal exemption of 54 plots of one-kanal each in Johar Town Lahore, with the connivance of Nawaz, the then chief minister of Punjab, in violation of the exemption policy in 1986.