ISLAMABAD: Jang Editor-in-Chief of the Jang/Geo Group Mir Shakilur Rehman on Thursday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the Lahore High Court (LHC) that had him bail in allotment of a plot in Lahore case.

A division bench of the LHC on 8 July 2020 dismissed the writ petition of Mir Shakilur Rehman.

The petitioner said the division bench had totally misread the contents of DG LDA’s letter dated 26 September 1990, and, thereby, committed a jurisdictional error in assuming that the petitioner was required to pay market price for the excess land sold to him in 1986, when, as a matter of fact, letter dated 26 September 1990, unambiguously establishes that prior to 26 September 1990 only reserve price was payable for excess area.

He submitted that with respect to the excess land, the Exemption Policy itself stipulated that the exemptee could purchase it at the reserve price, coupled with the fact that it is not the NAB’s case that the reserve price fixed at the relevant time for the land situated in Johar Town Housing Society Phase-II was other than Rs60,000, per kanal, the division bench has erred in presuming any loss to the LDA or, for that matter, any financial benefit to the petitioner on this account, and thereby, wrongly denied bail to the petitioner.

“The refusal of bail to the petitioner by the learned High Court, and thereby his continuous incarceration, inter alia, for alleged non-payment of purported dues to the LDA, without there being any adjudication thereof by a competent court of law after observing due process, is violative of the petitioner’s fundamental right guaranteed under Article 10-A of the Constitution,” he stated.

He also said that “even if it be presumed, though without conceding, that any sum of money was due from the petitioner to the LDA, the provisions of the NAO, 1999 could not be invoked for recovery of that amount, when the LDA Act itself provided for a mechanism to recover the same”.