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NAB to not arrest PML-N’s Barjees Tahir, court told

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Barjees Tahir. Photo: National Assembly website

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed an accountability court on Thursday that the anti-corruption watchdog does not want to arrest PML-N leader Barjees Tahir in an assets beyond means case.

NAB explained its position to Accountability court judge Malik Ali Zulqarnain Awan during a hearing of a pre-arrest bail petition filed by the PML-N MNA. Tahir personally appeared before the court along with his legal counsel.

Tahir, also a former federal minister, said in his petition that NAB had already closed the impugned inquiry against him in 2003. However, he said, the bureau started issuing him call-up notices in 2019 in the same inquiry.

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He said NAB unlawfully converted a complaint into an investigation against him and he fears he would be arrested.

His counsel told the court that previously the court had disposed of a similar bail petition of the MNA in light of a statement of NAB that no warrant for the arrest of the petitioner was issued.

He said NAB once again issued a call-up notice to the petitioner asking him to appear before its investigation team. He said there was an apprehension that the bureau would arrest the petitioner.

A prosecutor of the NAB told the bench that the arrest of the petitioner was not required so far and he had been summoned for investigation.

The petitioner’s counsel said there had been instances when the NAB made arrests in a surprise manner.

The judge directed the prosecutor to come up with a clear response whether the arrest of the petitioner was required or not.

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After seeking instructions, the prosecutor told the court that MNA Tahir’s arrest was not required so far.

The court disposed of the bail petition in the light of the NAB prosecutor’s statement.

Earlier, Tahir’s bail petition was being heard by a two-member bench of the Lahore High Court but it was sent to accountability after an amendment was introduced in the National accountability ordinance wherein accountability courts were empowered to hear bail petitions.

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