LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday extended for 10 days physical remand of former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) chairman Ahad Khan Cheema and three others in Ashiana scam.
Earlier, officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) produced the suspects before the court amid strict security.
A NAB prosecutor stated before the court that the LDA had not sought any opinion from experts before signing the contracts of the housing scheme. He alleged that the rules had been altered to award the contract to Paragon developers.
He said the whole project amounted to Rs14 billion whereas the company had a capital value of Rs15 million. He asked the court to extend remand of the suspects for further investigation.
Counsel for the suspects opposed the request and said the NAB had failed to produce any cogent evidence against their clients during the last 57-day long remand. He said all rules and regulations had been fully observed before awarding the contracts of the housing scheme.
When asked about the reason to have further custody of the suspects, the NAB prosecutor said more revelations were possible by the suspects. The court admitted the request and extended physical remand of the suspects till April 26.
Cheema was arrested by the NAB for misusing his authority with criminal intent and awarding Rs14bn worth of contracts of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing scheme. It said procurement rules had been violated by the former chief of LDA.
The NAB alleged that Bismillah Engineering Services Co was a proxy firm working on behalf of Paragon City Developers (Pvt) Ltd. It said Cheema received illegal gratification in the form of 32 kanals of land from the owners of Paragon developers.