In a major win for PML-N leader and Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) accepted his acquittal plea in the Narowal Sports City reference.
A two-member bench of the court, chaired by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, heard the hearing of the Narowal Sports City corruption reference against PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal who had argued that NAB’s reference was based on fabricated allegations and against the facts.
According to the details, the high court dismissed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference against Ahsan Iqbal and even criticized the then NAB Chairman for filing the reference on the basis of a news item published by a little-known newspaper.
The NAB prosecutor urged the court to grant them time to review the reference in light of the recent amends to the NAB laws. To clarify, last month, the National Assembly passed the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act, 2022 with a majority vote, amending the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO).
However, the CJ remarked that they have given more than enough time to NAB. The court ended the proceedings by acquitting the PML-N leader from the case.
False cases lodged under Imran Khan’s orders
Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that under former Prime Minister Imran Khan, NAB tried to implicate PML-N leaders in false cases.
“Ahsan Iqbal’s acquittal in the NAB reference proves 2 facts; at the behest of former minister Imran Khan, NAB went to all lengths to implicate PMLN and its leaders in false cases and kept them in illegal detention. The integrity of a noble and honest person like Ahsan Iqbal was proved again with full force,” Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.
نیب ریفرنس میں احسن اقبال کی بریت سے 2 حقائق ثابت ہوتے ہیں؛ سابق وزیر عمران خان کے کہنے پر PMLN اور اس کے راہنماؤں کو جھوٹے مقدمات میں پھنسانے کے لئے نیب ہر حد تک گئی اور ناجائز قیدوبند میں رکھا۔ احسن اقبال جیسے شریف اور ایماندار شخص کی دیانت داری پوری قوت سے پھر ثابت ہوئی۔
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 21, 2022
In 2019, the NAB arrested Ahsan Iqbal, and later, in 2020, an accountability court indicted him in the case. The watchdog alleged that the federal minister misused his authority to illegally enhance the scope of the Narowal sports city project from Rs34.75 million to Rs2,994 million approximately.