ISLAMABAD: A local accountability court today approved six-day remand of former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry in a case related to misappropriation in construction projects in Jhelum.
Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir presided over the hearing. Fawad was brought to the court after the expiry of his 10-day physical remand. The court said the investigation of the case should be completed within the stipulated time while Fawad should also be allowed to meet his lawyers. The former minister will be presented before the court on January 5, 2024.
Fawad was taken into custody earlier this month by the National Accountability Bureau in connection with a corruption case. NAB Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt had signed an arrest warrant for apprehending the former PTI politician after which he was taken to Adiala jail.
Today, Fawad, while presenting his arguments, told the court that four allegations were levelled against him. “I have been accused of using my influence while being a minister. The project related to the Public Sector Development Programme and it was my duty to convey the demands of people of my constituency to the government. If I don’t work for the people of my constituency then what’s the point of my being in politics,” he cleared to the court.
He said the NAB did not have the jurisdiction to start an inquiry against him. Fawad told the court that there was no contractor as the project was under Frontier Works Organisation. He pleaded to the court to discharge him from the case.
Presenting his arguments, NAB prosecutor said that they had asked for a 14-day physical remand but were given only 10 days to investigate the accused. He said they need to scrutinize bank records suspicions of irregular activities. He said the contractor has also been summoned on January 2.
Later, Fawad’s counsel, Advocate Faisal said that the prosecution should present the banking transaction before the court if there is any. He argued that Fawad was arrested so that he could not contest the upcoming general elections slated for February 8, 2024, as he opposed Fawad’s physical remand.
In June, the former minister was among the PTI leaders who were present during the launching ceremony of the Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party which is headed by Khan’s former political aide Jahangir Khan Tareen.