An accountability court in Lahore on Tuesday accepted the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to close an 19-year-old inquiry against Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain due to lack of evidence.
Both brothers 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-corruption watchdog had opened an inquiry into the matter in year 2000 and found that the two allegedly purchased the pieces of land through their frontmen Mirza Aslam Baig and Mohammad Nawaz.
During today’s proceedings, the 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. He informed the court that the plots were purchased by the Chaudhry brothers’ employees and the PML-Q leaders had no connection to the deals.
Even though the inquiry was initiated 19 years ago, no major breakthroughs were made after the initial findings. The case was transferred to half-a-dozen investigators but to no avail.
In January this year, NAB IO Waqarul Haq — who was handed over the case in November 2017 — had concluded the inquiry with a note that the investigation should be discontinued.