LHC extends pre-arrest bail of Hamza Shehbaz

Petitioner says he fears NAB may arrest him during inquiry

Rana Yasif November 14, 2018
PML-N MNA Hamza Shahbaz. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday extended pre-arrest interim bail of the Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz till November 20, restraining the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting him.

Hamza Shehbaz, whose father Shehbaz Sharif is already in the NAB custody, appeared before a two-judge LHC bench but his counsel, Azam Nazir Tarar, was not available.

A lawyer told the bench that Tarar was out of country to attend a law conference. He asked the court to extend the concession of bail already granted to the petitioner.

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The bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, allowed the request and extended the bail till November 20.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers, who were present outside the courtroom in considerable numbers, also chanted slogans in favour of their party leaders.

On the last hearing, the counsel for Hamza had argued before the bench that NAB initiated three inquiries, against his client, related to Punjab Saaf Pani Company, Ramzan Sugar Mills and assets beyond means. He also questioned jurisdiction of the anti-graft watchdog to probe into the matters.

The counsel pointed out that the petitioner had been appearing before NAB investigation teams and provided them with all the required information and documents. He said NAB summoned a person in one case but arrested him in another case. The same had been done in the case of Shehbaz, the opposition leader in the National Assembly.

Hamza’s counsel said there were serious apprehensions that NAB might arrest the petitioner too at the time of his appearance in inquiry. The bench had allowed the bail to Hamza against two surety bonds worth Rs10,00,000 each.


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