Toshakhana reference against Nawaz, Zardari and Gilani returned by accountability court
An accountability court has returned the Toshakhana reference involving Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the Toshakhana reference against alleged relaxation of rules by ex-PM Gilani to extend illegal benefits to Zardari and Nawaz in purchase of vehicles gifted by foreign countries.
Judge Muhammed Bashir returned the NAB’s petition on Wednesday remarking that after amendments in the NAB Ordinance, a case can not be filed on irregularities amounting to less than Rs500 million.
The former state heads were accused of Rs110 million corruption in the reference.
Therefore, the court ruled that the Toshakhana reference was invalid as it did not fall in its ambit.
What is Toshakhana reference?
NAB had accused former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of illegally allotting cars to Nawaz and Zardari.
The accountability watchdog stated that Zardari and Nawaz obtained cars from the Toshakhana by paying only 15% of the price of the luxury vehicles.
It also alleged that Gilani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Nawaz by illegally relaxing the rules.
According to the reference, Zardari had received armored vehicles as gifts from the UAE and Libya between 2005 and 2008 but didn’t report the gifts or deposit them.
The Toshakhana is an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited. Two former prime ministers, Nawaz and Gilani, have also been nominated in the reference.
Gilani, however, had been granted an exemption from appearing for the case hearings.