LAHORE: Veteran lawyer and constitutional expert Aitzaz Ahsan has said the case against Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is of civil nature, and it does not fall under the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) jurisdiction.
Talking to Geo News on Tuesday, he said the reference, filed by NAB against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, is a 34 years old civil transaction case. NAB has filed it under the National Accountability Ordinance, though it does not fall under its legal purview.
To a question, he said if an FIR [first information report] in a criminal case is registered with a delay of 10-12 hours, the accused are exonerated of charges, what to talk of the bail of the accused.
He said if any offence was committed in a 34-year-old property deal, a case could be registered under the LDA Act, to the maximum. A penalty could be imposed under Article 34 of the LDA Act, if there was any illegality. In fact, even a penalty could also not be mposed after passage of 34 years, the legal expert said.
Aitzaz Ahsan said it was like “digging up the dead” after 34 years. NAB’s such a severe reaction over 34-year-old property deal also seemed strange. There seemed some “collateral purpose” behind it, he added.
The legal expert said it was a very important thing, and the court would definitely take its notice. He said, what he believed, the arrest warrant [for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman] was issued in Islamabad. And that too at a time when Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was sitting at NAB office, and he himself had appeared before it. But the NAB chairman issued the arrest warrants, though an inquiry was still under way in Lahore, he added. On what ground, he issued the warrants, what documents he had before him, and what report he had seen before issuing the warrants, asked the veteran lawyer. He said it was a known fact that the inquiry [against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman] was still incomplete, what to talk of any report.