Pakistan

LAHORE – An accountability court in Lahore approved the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea on Tuesday to close an inquiry against Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

The 19-year-old inquiry was shelved due to lack of evidence; the duo had been accused of causing losses to the state exchequer by influencing Lahore Development Authority (LDA) officials to exempt more than 21 kanals of land, and 28 plots measuring 10 marlas each, in a private housing society.

The anti-graft body had opened an inquiry into the matter in 2000 and found that the two allegedly purchased the pieces of land through their frontmen Mirza Aslam Baig and Mohammad Nawaz, Dawn News reported.

During today’s proceedings, NAB’s investigation officer (IO) presented the findings of the inquiry in court and said that no evidence could be found to suggest that the Chaudhry brothers were involved in the purchase of the land.

The plots were purchased by the Chaudhry brothers’ employees and the PML-Q leaders had no connection to the deals, the officer told the court.

In January this year, NAB IO Waqarul Haq had concluded the inquiry with a note that the investigation should be discontinued. Haq had initiated the investigations in November 2017.