Paragon Scandal: LHC rejects bail petitions of Khawaja Brothers

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday rejected bail petitions filed by former minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique, in Paragon Housing scam case.
A two-member bench of the court headed by Justice Baqir Ali Najfi continued hearing into petitions seeking bail for Khawaja brothers in Paragon Housing scam case.
At the outset of the hearing, Khawaja brothers’ counsel informed the court that his clients have nothing to do with Paragon Housing scam and added Qaiser Ameen Butt’s statement was recorded twice before the magistrate.
“NAB first rejected Qaiser’s statement and later recorded his statement of its choice”, Khawaja brothers’ counsel alleged.
He said inquiry against his clients carried out for three years and were closed later, he said.
The court after hearing the arguments reserved the verdict in the pleas.
Khawaja brothers in their bail pleas have stated that the NAB nominated them in the case without having any concrete evidence against them.
They said they had extended full cooperation to the accountability watchdog during investigation and provided all documents to prove that they had no link to the Paragon City Society.
The applicants said they were being punished by the corruption watchdog on political grounds.
Paragon Housing scam
According to NAB, Khawaja Saad Rafique in collusion with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique Butt, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia had launched a housing project named Air Avenue, which was later renamed to Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd.
The accused allegedly connived with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt to defraud several members of the society and misappropriated project funds for personal gains. The accused collected huge amounts in flagrant violation of directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).
Besides, Saad Rafique acquired 40 kanals of land in his and his brother’s name, which he used to extend the project illegally and sold commercial plots worth billions of rupees.