The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) chairman Ahad Cheema in an alleged corruption case.

Cheema, who was a close aide of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, was detained in Feb 2018 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiana Housing scam. However, the accountability bureau also opened another inquiry against him for possessing assets beyond means.

During the hearing, the apex court directed the former top civil servant to furnish surety bonds worth Rs1 million to secure the bail. The NAB lawyer opposed the bail plea, saying Cheema was a key accused in the case.


At this, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood asked whether the accused doesn’t deserve bail due to the delay in the case.


Cheema’s lawyer responded that his client has been in jail for two years and nine months. Bail is granted in case of undue delay, he added.

Earlier this year, the Lahore High Court had dismissed a bail plea filed by Cheema, even though the co-accused in the case were granted post-arrest bail. Subsequently, ex-LDA chief’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarrar moved the apex court, seeking bail.


In Feb 2018, NAB arrested Cheema after the latter failed to show up on NAB hearings. At the time, NAB had stated that that the inquiry conducted by the bureau “produced sufficient evidence to prove LDA ex-DG’s involvement in the Ahsiana scam”.

In its official press release issued at the time, it said that the Punjab Land Development Company assigned the Ashiana Housing Scheme project to LDA, where Cheema as its DG misused his authority and received illegal gratification in the form of 32 kanals of land, valuing approximately Rs30 million from the owners of Paragon City. The accused also awarded the contract for the project to Lahore Casa Developers, that was ineligible for the contract.

It may be noted here ex-CM Shehbaz Sharif and former principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad were also accused in Ashiana case.