The court has directed to present the accused in next hearing.

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Accountability court on Monday has reserved verdict on acquittal pleas of former Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique till October 16 in Paragon Housing Society reference.

During the hearing headed by judge Jawad-ul-Hassan, lawyer Ashtar Ausaf Ali argued that as per companies act 2017, Paragon City reference doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of National Accountability Bureau (NAB). My clients are being deprived of their basic rights, he added.

While responding to Ashtar Ausaf, the NAB prosecutor said that the reference was filed against Khawaja brothers after fulfilling all the legal requirements.

Subsequently, the court has reserved the verdict on bail pleas and directed to present the accused in next hearing.

On September 3, accountability court had indicted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Khawaja Saad Rafique and ex-Punjab Health Minister Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing Society case.

The Khawaja brothers have been accused of embezzling nearly Rs2 billion.

In all previous hearings, their defense counsel had repeatedly maintained before the court that the details of banking transactions of the last ten years had been handed over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

On April 26, the NAB Lahore had approved filing of a reference against the Khawaja brothers and Nadeem Zia for the alleged corruption.

Qaiser Amin Butt, the director of Paragon Housing Society, was also included in the inquiry initiated by the NAB, and he was also arrested in November last year. Later, he agreed to turn approver against the Khawaja brothers and Zia.

Butt and Zia established a company “Air Avenue” in the year 2003; however the name was later changed to Paragon City private (Pvt) Limited.

On December 11, 2018, Khawaja brothers were detained by the accountability watchdog after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their bail plea.

The NAB had launched an investigation into the alleged scam in November last year after a number of victims staged protests and held a press conference at the Lahore Press Club against what they termed the housing society’s fraud.