Will issue detailed order on authority of NAB to make arrests, says IHC CJ

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Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah on Thursday said that the court would issue a detailed order on the authority of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest suspects while investigations into a case were still incomplete, reported Geo News.

The top judge of the high court made the remarks while hearing a case into alleged corruption in the Narowal Sports Complex. Former minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, Ahsan Iqbal, is a key suspect in the case and under NAB detention.

“Does NAB not have enough competence to complete the investigation into the case without arresting Ahsan Iqbal?” Justice Minallah questioned during the hearing held earlier today. Iqbal had been arrested by the accountability body in late December last year.

“Why should we not declare unjustified arrests by NAB illegal?” the chief justice asked prosecutors in the courtroom. Upon hearing this, a representative of the body said that NAB feared Iqbal would try to influence the case by preventing witnesses from coming forward.

“On what grounds was NAB concerned that Iqbal would try to stop witnesses from coming forward?” the IHC top judge asked the prosecutors. To this, the official from NAB said that the body had proof Iqbal tried to do the same back in 2009.

“We will issue a detailed order on the authority of NAB to make such arrests. This trend has to end somewhere, and this authority has to be justified in front of the court,” Minallah said.

The arrest of Iqbal

Iqbal was arrested by the bureau in late December last year as he appeared before it in relation to the corruption case in construction of Narowal Sports City Complex.

The NAB’s Rawalpindi chapter had summoned Iqbal in relation to the case when he was arrested. Sources said the arrest warrant for the PML-leader was signed by NAB Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal.

NAB had begun investigating the complex in July 2018. It was built at the staggering cost of over Rs3,000 million. The NAB investigation team also visited the Narowal Sports City project last year to secure records.

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