LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday confirmed interim bail of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Punjab President Rana Sanaullah in assets beyond means case.The court directed the accused to submit surety bonds of Rs 5 million for availing the relief.
A division bench, headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar, conducted hearing on the pre-arrest bail petition, filed by the PML-N leader. Rana Sanaullah, along with his counsel, appeared before the court on expiry of his interim bail, while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) legal and investigation teams were also present.
Prosecutor Syed Faisal Raza Bukhari submitted his final arguments, stating that NAB initiated an inquiry against Rana Sanaullah on an application, filed by Chaudhry Tahir Riaz on June 24, in accordance with the law. He submitted that the inquiry was started by the Bureau before a narcotics case, registered against the accused.
He submitted that Rana Sanaullah possessed 10-kanal land, two houses and he received Rs 12.9 million as salary during the past 29 years, whereas he did not have any business or agricultural land.
He submitted that now Rana Sanaullah owned a large number of properties, including agricultural lands, plots , shops, six luxury vehicles and other valuables, which did not match with his known sources of income and his arrest warrants were issued on Nov 9, 2020.
However, Rana Sanaullah’s counsel argued that his client had declared all his properties and he had been a taxpayer since 1990. The prosecutor mentioned that the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had not put charge of making assets from narcotics against Rana Sanaullah.
At this, the bench questioned then why the ANF had frozen assets of Rana Sanaullah.
The prosecutor submitted that the ANF had frozen assets under Section 37 and the trial court was empowered to confirm it. However, the matter was still pending in trial court, he added.
To a question by the bench, the prosecutor replied that the ANF had frozen all assets of the accused. The bench asked whether the NAB case was about the same properties. The prosecutor stated that the ANF had its own case and the bureau had its own. The bench noted that the properties were same in both cases, and the ANF had frozen them and it would remain frozen till a decision in the case.
The prosecutor stated that the ANF freezed assets temporarily. However, the court questioned whether the said property would be confiscated if the trial court convicted Rana Sanaullah. The prosecutor replied in affirmative.
The bench observed that where the NAB cases would stand in that situation.
Later, the bench confirmed interim bail of Rana Sanaullah and directed him for submitting surety bonds for the purpose. Rana Sanaullah’s counsel completed his argument on last hearing.
The LHC granted an interim bail to Rana Sanaullah on March 5, 2020, in a NAB inquiry against him over charges of possessing assets beyond known sources of income.