SC orders accountability courts to decide on NICL references within 10 days
The directives were issued on Thursday as chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry while heading a special three-member bench; the apex court directed the accountability courts of Lahore and Karachi to decide all four references in the case within 10 days.
The apex court also ordered that Mohsin Habib Warraich, the main accused in the scam, be arrested and presented before the bench. Additionally, the bench also sought records of all cases pending in the accountability courts.
Expressing his displeasure at the lack of any breakthrough into the NICL corruption case, the top judge remarked that it appeared the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was being lenient with the accused in the case, clarifying that it would not be permitted.
A central figure in the multi-billion scam, Ayaz Khan Niazi, was arrested earlier this month on the directives of the Supreme Court by the accountability watchdog.
The Supreme Court, in its 2013 verdict, had held that Niazi was appointed as the head of NICL in violation of rules and directed NAB investigations against several top bureaucrats and politicians of the country.
The NICL scandal pertains to financial embezzlement by Niazi, then commerce minister (late) Makhdoom Amin Fahim and several others in the purchase of official land.
Late PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim, former NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niyazi along with other top officials of the company had been booked in cases pertaining to the purchase of land at various places and different times by NICL.
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