LHC dismisses plea against Shehaz’s arrest

LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi dismissed a petition challenging the Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam.
The petition was filed by AK Dogar on behalf of the Pakistan Lawyers Foundation. The division bench comprising Justice Najafi and Justice Anwarul Haq Pannun observed that the petitioner had no locus standi to agitate the matter before the court.
He argued that no person could be kept in custody without informing him about the grounds relating to his arrest and such grounds could only be established after completion of investigation. The lawyer also argued that the arrest of a person during investigation and trial was inconsistent under Article 10(1) of the Constitution.
Dogar implored that no investigation was constitutionally valid unless the accused had been granted the fundamental right. He informed the court that the Article 10 of the Constitution gives the right to be defended by a counsel during the course of investigation but this right was not granted to Shehbaz by the NAB.
He prayed the court to declare that Section 24 of the NAB Ordinance that allowed chairman of the bureau to arrest an accused during investigation was inconsistent with the fundamental rights described under Article 10 of the Constitution.  He asked the court to set aside the order for the arrest of the opposition leader issued by the NAB chairman and release him on bail.