LHC grants bail to Ahad Cheema in assets beyond means case

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted bail to former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema in assets beyond the means case.

The bench directed Ahad Cheema for submitting two surety bonds of Rs 1 million each for the purpose.

The bench comprising Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural heard the post-arrest bail petition filed by the former director general.

A counsel for Ahad Cheema argued before the bench that his client was behind the bars for three years whereas the conclusion of trial was still not in sight. He submitted that so far the statements of 48 prosecution witnesses were recorded whereas the total number of witnesses was 210. He pleaded with the court to grant the benefit of bail to his client as trial was not expected to complete soon.

At this, the court questioned whether the notices were issued to witnesses and benamidars who failed to appear in the trial court.

To this, a prosecutor sought time for filing a reply and report of the trial court. He further submitted that the petitioner’s counsel availed more than 12 adjournments from the trial court. He opposed the bail plea and sought time for filing the reply.

However, the court dismissed the request and granted bail to Ahad Cheema and directed him for submitting surety bonds for the purpose.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ahad Cheema was arrested in February 2018 in connection with the Ashiana Housing case. Later, the bureau also implicated him in assets beyond means case.

Ahad Cheema had already been granted bail in the Ashiana Housing scheme case.

The petitioner through the petition had submitted that the National Accountability Bureau had alleged that he possessed assets of Rs 570 million and these did not correspond with his income. He submitted that the allegations were baseless as the bureau showed assets of his relatives as a part of his assets.