LAHORE - President PML-N Shehbaz Sharif on Monday failed to appear before the national anti-graft body investigating corruption cases involving public sector companies.

However, Ameer Afzal, a representative of the chief minister, appeared on his behalf before NAB authorities at bureau’s Lahore office.

A source familiar with the development said the representative of the CM submitted written replies to some questions. Shehbaz Sharif’s representative left the NAB office after handing over written answers to the investigators.

An official said the authority would issue another notice to the former chief executive of the province with the direction to appear before the investigators again on June 25 since he failed to show up on Monday. “The next proceedings (of the Saaf Pani Company case) will be held on June 25,” he added.

Shehbaz on Sunday appeared before the country’s top court and responded to questions about public sector companies. But he did show up at the NAB office in Lahore on Monday.

Since November the authority has been probing into alleged corruption in the 56 public sector companies formed by the provincial government under the administrative control of the CM Shehbaz Sharif. Also, these public sector companies have been accused of financial embezzlement, making appointments against merit and committing violation of procurement policy.

Officials believe billions of rupees were embezzled in the Saaf Pani Company alone.

The anti-graft body last month had summoned Shehbaz Sharif to appear before a combined investigation team in Lahore in connection with the Saaf Pani Company. The CM was also directed to bring the relevant record along with him.

Official sources say Shehbaz Sharif was called by the authority since he himself had granted approval of various projects as part of the Saaf Pani Company.

Last month, Shehbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf failed to show up at his third consecutive appearance at the NAB Bureau in Lahore. He has been facing two separate corruption inquiries involving Punjab Saaf Pani Company and the Punjab Power Development Company.

In April former PM Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the NAB investigators in connection with alleged corruption in the Raiwind Road case.

The PM was summoned by the NAB’s provincial headquarters on April 13. Allegedly, the former PM had illegally convened a meeting on April 15, 1998 on the construction of road from Adda Plot to Sundar Mull by using funds of the district council for his personal benefit.

In the months leading up to the General Election 2018, several government officers and senior political leaders are being grilled by the NAB, an anti-corruption body established under the rule of former despot Pervez Musharraf in 1999.

On several occasions, country’s parliamentary committee that monitors corruption cases criticised the National Accountability Bureau for its unwillingness to prosecute former military officers involved in corruption scandals.