Lahore: Hamesh, Afzal bail pleas dismissed
LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed bail petitions of Hamesh Khan, former president of the Bank of Punjab, and his co-accused, Sheikh Afzal, of Haris Steel Mill involved in Rs9 billion scam.
The bench heard lengthy arguments from all sides. During the course of arguments, the court observed that the accused remained absconders for a long time and did not deserve concession of bail.
Mehmood A Sheikh, Hamesh’s counsel, argued that his client had no role in the alleged scam as he was on leave and out of the country when all the illegal loans were approved. On his return, Hamesh probed into the matter and found seven officers guilty, he said, adding that his client suspended the officials involved and referred the matter to the National Accountability Bureau. He pointed out that Hamesh got interim bail from the high court but the NAB authorities continued chasing him and number of raids were made at his residence. The intimidating atmosphere had forced Hamesh to escape abroad, he said.
The counsel added when the matter landed in the Supreme Court, Hamesh himself had written a letter to the apex court, stating that he was willing to come back. Later, he returned and surrendered before the court.
Advocate Maqsooma Zahra Bokhari of the BoP argued that an independent inquiry was conducted and its report was submitted before the SC. She said the inquiry found Hamesh and co-accused Afzal guilty.
The CJ observed that the court was fully aware of the fact that it took months for the Supreme Court to get the accused arrested through issuance of red warrants. The bench dismissed bail petitions and observed that the accused may again run away if they were released on bail.