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National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Friday submitted a reply in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on the petition of former President Asif Ali Zardari and opposed his bail plea in the fake bank accounts case. The anti-corruption watchdog in its reply stated that NAB is taking action against Zardari within legal boundaries and investigation against the former president is under way in accordance with the NAB Ordinance.

The IHC on April 10 had extended interim bails to Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till April 29, and directed the NAB to furnish details of ongoing and pending inquiries against the PPP leader. The NAB submitted that Zardari in 'connivance' with former prime minister and fellow party leader Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani illegally obtained three luxury bullet-proof cars - two BMWs and one Toyota Lexus - from Toshakhana (the state gift repository), which were gifted by the governments of the UAE and Libya.

It further said that Zardari paid Rs 37.16 million as duty/tax on the said vehicles through cheques issued from the 'fake' accounts in question. It added, "All the proceedings were taken in accordance with law and there is absolutely no violation of fundamental rights of the petitioner, he had been given complete opportunity vide call-up notice to clarify allegations levelled against him.

"There is no statutory provision provided in the law whereby NAB is bound to inform or notice before arrest hence this petition is liable to be dismissed."

It also stated that the petitioner had 'misled' this court and abused the process of law. "The inquiries/ investigations pertaining to the fake bank accounts scam are being conducted by the NAB on the directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan and not with any predetermined mined."

"During the proceedings of inquiries/ investigations, whenever any person is found having knowledge, information or any kind of nexus with the case, he is called upon through call-up notice and he is duly informed about his role and connection with the matter. Therefore, the petitioner is not entitled to seek any information about the pending inquiries other than those in which he has been issued call-up notice," maintained the NAB reply. Therefore, the bureau prayed to the court that petition of Zardari seeking bail may be dismissed in the interest of justice.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019


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