Chaudhry Sugar Mills case: Maryam’s bail can’t be suspended, says LHC

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Chaudhry Sugar Mills case

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a written order on the application moved by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the cancellation of PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s bail.

A two-member bench of the LHC issued the order Wednesday in response to the plea moved by NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The written order states that the order granting Maryam bail cannot be suspended immediately.

It notes that the anti-graft watchdog claimed that despite repeatedly summoning the PML-N leader, she did not appear. The federal home secretary has been directed to file a detailed reply on NAB’s request by April 7.

Earlier in the day, NAB Lahore summoned Maryam in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The PML-N leader has been directed to appear before the anti-graft watchdog on March 26 in the case. She had earlier appeared before the accountability watchdog on August 11, 2020. According to NAB’s spokesperson, the bureau has received new evidence concerning the PML-N vice president. “In the light of new evidence, Maryam Nawaz should be investigated,” he added.

Earlier, the NAB summoned PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) money-laundering investigation on March 26. Maryam Nawaz had submitted his reply on this investigation a year back on January 22, 2020. Interestingly, in the ‘national interest’, it took more than a year for the NAB to declare Maryam’s reply vague, unclear and unsatisfactory.

It is pertinent to mention here that a day before, the NAB in a press release had stated that the bureau had delayed summoning Maryam in this investigation for a while, keeping in view the overall political situation, her political activities and national interests.

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According to a call-up notice a copy of which is available with The News, the NAB while addressing Maryam Nawaz stated that “your previous reply dated 22-01-2020 was found vague, unclear and unsatisfactory”. The NAB notice read: “During your previous appearance at the NAB Lahore on 31-07- 2019 and also during your physical remand, you did not offer a satisfactory reply to CIT’s queries on the pretext that the relevant record/information was being arranged by you. In view thereof you are advised to provide the following information along with relevant documents.”

The NAB has directed Maryam to provide Form-3. “The return of allotments dated 28-06-1992 pertaining to M/S CSML shows an equity injection of Rs 8,640,000 as your contribution towards the seed money for establishing the Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited. Provide the source of the aforesaid investment,” the NAB added.

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The NAB has directed Maryam to provide original share/purchase agreements/transfer deed pertaining to 11.527 million ordinary shares of M/S CSML transferred in her name in 2008 by following foreign nationals Saeed Saif Bin Jabar Al-Suweldi (UAE national), Sheikh Zakauddin (UK national) and Hanl Ahmad Jamjoom (Saudi National).

The National Accountability Bureau has directed Maryam to provide sources of funds along with a trail of payment made to the aforesaid foreign nationals for the purchase of 11.527 million shares.

The NAB has also directed Maryam to provide the original share sale agreement/transfer deeds claimed to be executed with Naseer Abdulla Lootah for transfer of 11 million shares of M/s CSML in 2010 in his name and record of repurchase of said shares in the name or Hussain Nawaz Sharif in 2013.

National Accountability Bureau has directed Maryam to provide details of M/S CSML and her financial relations with individuals namely Muhammad Asif son of Muhammad Amin and Umar Sarwar son of Ghulam Sarwar, particularly in relation to payment orders worth Rs 230 million sent by the aforesaid individuals from the UAE which were initially deposited in the bank accounts or Yousaf Abbas Sharif and Abdul Aziz Abbas Sharif and were subsequently transferred to M/S CSML in 2013.

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The NAB has directed Maryam to provide details and sources of funds for a loan of Rs 42,304,310 extended by her to M/S CSML in 2010.

NAB has asked Maryam to provide details of transaction pertaining to transfer of Rs 70 million from M/S CSML’s account 0108001010028601 to her personal bank account 0149056661004053 in 2011.

The bureau has asked Maryam to appear before the Combined Investigation Team of the NAB Lahore on March 26 at 11 am and furnish answers to the said queries.

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