LAHORE  -  The Lahore High Court yesterday allowed pre-arrest bail to Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in three different cases including ‘assets beyond means’, Punjab Saaf Pani Company and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

A division bench led by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi also barred the NAB officials from taking Hamza Shehbaz into custody. The court directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 1 million each in all three cases as surety bond.

During the proceedings, Hamza himself appeared before the court along with his counsel and showed his concern that he could be arrested by NAB in three cases.

He said the NAB had been investigating him in such matters which did not fall in its jurisdiction. The NAB issued notice to him to hold inquiry about the wastage of Ramzan Sugar Mills, he said. At this, the bench asked him to provide all information to the NAB if it had any query about the matter in question.

On it, the counsel of Hamza said that he had to appear before the NAB tomorrow but the apprehension was that he would be taken into custody during his appearance before it.

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the NAB summoned people in one case but arrested them in some other case and the same was done with Shehbaz Sharif, the father of the petitioner.

He said Hamza was cooperating with the NAB in all three cases and had also provided it complete record. He was summoned by the bureau for Friday (today) and it was possibility that he would be arrested.

He asked the court to allow his pre-arrest bail, so that he could appear without fear of arrest.

After hearing the arguments of the petitioner and his counsel, the bench headed by Justice Najafi accepted the bail plea and issued notices to the bureau for the next date of hearing on Nov 13.