ISLAMABAD: The lawyer for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday told the Supreme Court (SC) that his client had no role in the alleged illegal allotment of Waqf property attached to a Pakpattan shrine when he was the chief minister of Punjab in 1986.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Munib Akhtar, ordered the parties to submit their replies in 15 days.
In February, Nawaz Sharif had requested the court to reject the report.
The JIT had filed its report in the apex court on Jan 15. In its report, the JIT had recommended initiation of criminal proceedings against several individuals, including the then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif for withdrawing a Dec 17, 1969 notification and allotting the huge land of Auqaf around Pakpattan to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in 1986, allegedly in violation of a Lahore High Court (LHC) order.
During the proceedings on Wednesday, Dewan Ghulam Qutab’s lawyer, Iftikhar Gilani, said that he had already submitted his objections on the report and added that the apex court had taken notice of the matter after 29 years.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked if the land was the property of the then government of Auqaf, to which Gilani responded that Auqaf only takes care of the property and does not have any property of its own.
Justice Bandial said that the question was that why the then chief minister had signed a summary and given the land to a private individual.
Former Punjab governor Rafiq Rajwana appeared in the top court for the first time to represent Sharif and said that the property was only given to the caretaker of the shrine to look after. He added that the caretaker had then sold the land.
Rajwana said that the secretary of Aukaf had issued a notification to take back the land from the Aukaf administration and added that Sharif had nothing to do with the matter.
“While signing the summary, no one thought what would happen in the future,” Rajwana added.
He termed the JIT report a “one-man report”.
Justice Bandial remarked that government lands should be protected and said that the summary for the allotment of the land had been approved by the then chief minister. He observed that the decision to allot the land was in violation of the court order.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till after Eid.