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Transit remand of Saad for SC hearing

LAHORE: An accountability court granted on Tuesday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) a two-day transit remand of former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq for his appearance in a case before the Supreme Court (SC) in Islamabad.

The NAB special prosecutor filed an application before the court pleading that being a former minister for railways, personal appearance of Mr Rafiq was required before a SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, seized with suo motu case regarding colossal losses incurred by the railways. He said the case was fixed for hearing on Jan 9 at the principal seat. Accountability court judge Syed Najamul Hassan accepted the request and granted two-day transit remand of the former railways minister.

Mr Rafiq and his brother former provincial minister Khwaja Salman Rafiq are on already physical remand with NAB till Jan 19 in the Paragon City Housing Society case.

NAB says Khwaja brothers established an unlawful housing project in the name of Air Avenue in connivance with former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia. The project was later converted into a new housing project- Paragon City Pvt Ltd.

It said the record showed that the Paragon City was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority.

NAB accused the suspects of cheating public at large and obtaining financial benefits from the funds of the illegal housing society.

stayed: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday stayed construction of Liaquatabad police station and directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to explain under what law and regulations police stations can be established in residential areas.

A resident of Model Town Extension, Mian Jamal, had filed a petition challenging the construction of the police station. The petitioner through his counsel pleaded that the construction of police stations in residential localities was in violation of the LDA rules.

During the hearing, Justice Ayesha A Malik admonished the legal adviser of the LDA for seeking adjournment in the case. The judge observed that the court was not supposed to allow prolonged adjournments to government departments.

Justice Malik adjourned hearing till Jan 21 and directed the LDA’s counsel to apprise the court about its regulations regarding construction of police stations in residential areas.

The petitioner contended that buildings of law enforcement agencies were a serious threat to life and property of citizens. He said the LDA rules did not allow construction of sensitive installations, including police stations, in populated areas. He asked the court to restrain the government from constructing Liaquatabad police station in Model Town Extension.

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