Lahore: Notice to NAB in bank loan case
LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Thursday admitted for regular hearing a bail petition of Sheikh Afzal of the Haris Steel Mills and issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau for July 13.
Former federal law minister Babar Awan advanced his arguments on behalf of Afzal and said his client was behind the bars for one year and seven months, but his trial had not been completed.
He said his client appeared before the trial court 56 times, but no charges had been framed against him yet. Awan said the procedure adopted by the trial court in the Bank of Punjab loan case was unique, as such a procedure had not been adopted in any bank fraud case in the history.
He said under article 25 of the Constitution all citizens were equal before the law, but his client was being discriminated against. He pointed out that after recent amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code Afzal was eligible for bail after two-year imprisonment without charges and conclusion of trial.
After hearing the initial arguments, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry admitted the bail petition for regular hearing and issued notice to NAB.
Last month, the same bench had dismissed bail petitions of Afzal and former BoP president Hamesh Khan. The bench had observed that the accused had been absconders and could not be granted concession of bail.
The NAB filed a reference on Sept 27, 2007, against 12 people, including six officials of the Bank of Punjab and six others over a Rs9 billion fraud.