The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday granted post-arrest bails to former commissioner Rawalpindi Muhammad Mehmood Ahmed and former land acquisition collector Waseem Ali Tabish in the alleged Rawalpindi Ring Road corruption case.
LHC’s Justice Shehram Sarwar granted the accused bails against furnishing bail bonds worth Rs10m each.
The petitioners’ counsels argued that the chief minister of Punjab approved the construction summary of the of ring road project in 2018, whereas Captain (retd) Muhammad Mehmood was appointed the commissioner of Rawalpindi in 2019.
The counsels implored that the allegations levelled against their clients about changing the map had nothing do with reality, adding that the change was done by the consultant.
The petitioners maintained that different allegations were levelled on them but nothing is on record till date. Neither any evidence, nor witnesses have been presented that could prove the involvement of the accused in the case.
The Anti-Corruption establishment had requested the court to send the accused on judicial remand after they completed their investigation. The accused persons had nothing to do with these allegations levelled on them, the counsels argued, requesting the court to grant them bails.
The prosecution opposed the bails, stating that evidence was available and the accused committed offences of heinous nature.
It is worth mentioning that for the purpose of alignment in the Rawalpindi Ring Road project, neither an approval was sought from concerned quarters, nor any No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were acquired from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the National Highway Authority (NHA).
The design of the project was changed and new interchanges were added in the project and the length of the road was increased from 22kms to 68kms.
It was further reported that the ring road’s new alignment benefited more than 50 influential people, real estate dealers and people connected with the project who had purchased 64,000 kanal land. The changes in the alignment increased the project’s cost to Rs25 billion.