LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday exempted former minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique from appearance in the Paragon City corruption case amid coronavirus fears.
Accountability judge Jawadul Hassan conducted proceedings into the said case wherein Saad’s brother, Khawaja Salman Rafique, also a PML-N leader, appeared.
Saad, in his petition, wrote: “I cannot appear before the court due to critical situation after the virus outbreak.” The plea was subsequently accepted by the court which adjourned the hearing till April 21 while summoning housing society’s director Qaiser Amin Butt in the next hearing.
Last month, the Supreme Court had granted bail to both PML-N stalwarts who had approached the highest judicial forum against the rejection of their post-arrest bail petitions by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
PARAGON HOUSING SCAM:
NAB has accused the Khawaja brothers of establishing a housing project by acting as benamidars in the name of Air Avenue. The project was later converted into a new housing scheme namely Paragon City which, per the Bureau, was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).
The Bureau also accused the two of receiving monetary benefits of Rs58 million and Rs39m respectively from the housing society through proxy firms under the garb of consultancy services.
NAB alleged that the Khawaja brothers had embezzled funds of the housing society for personal gains and collected heavy amounts despite clear directives from the LDA that the society was illegal.