Supreme Court grants bail to PPP leader Khursheed Shah
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to PPP leader Khursheed Shah in assets beyond known sources of income case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, granted bail to the former opposition leader in the National Assembly against surety bonds worth Rs10 million.
During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that the investigations against the PPP leader had been completed and explained that the reference could not be filed against Shah due to the lawyers’ strike in Sukkur.
Shah’s lawyer told the court that the bureau had accused his client of doing corruption in the purchase of 574 acres of agricultural land. The price of the land and sales deed could be confirmed via the collector’s notification, he added
At this point, Justice Bandial intervened and asked the NAB prosecutor, “How many statements of the witnesses have been recorded?”
While Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who was the other member of the bench, questioned, “How many properties have NAB made references against Shah?”
To this, Shah’s lawyer told the SC that the reference was created against 12 properties and five bank accounts. He added that 1,039 acres of barren land were bought by Abdul Hafeez Pirzada’s father in 1979 for Rs 80,000, adding that in 1982 Abdul Sattar Prizada sold the lands.
However, Justice Bandial asked whether the land was near a canal, adding that if that was the case, then the value of the land would be much higher. If the land was barren, then the value would be much less, he added.
Responding to the judge, Shah’s lawyer told the bench that land was being irrigated via lift irrigation technique.
At this point, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah intervened and asked NAB if it could show any solid evidence against the PPP leader.
“NAB should state whether the allegations against Khursheed Shah were proved in the investigation,” said Justice Bandial. The NAB witnesses were also against the PPP leader, he added.
“More than two years have passed since the arrest of Khursheed Shah, but NAB is yet to prove the allegations,” observed Justice Bandial. When the suspect was in NAB custody, then how can they expect him to provide documents, he continued.
“When he is in your custody, he cannot call anyone and tell them to take out the documents from such and such cupboard,” said Justice Bandial.
At this, the NAB prosecutor changed his line of argument and told the court that Shah had made 40 foreign trips and his family members made foreign trips at least 100 times.
“NAB could have calculated the travel expenses itself, should the accused provide the details?” asked Justice Bandial at this point. Shah was not a “poor man” as he had declared that his family has Rs370 million in cash, he added.
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