LAHORE - An accountability court Monday extended the judicial remand of Pakistan Muslim League leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique till March 19 in Paragon Housing Scheme scam.

Special Judge Accountability Courts Syed Najamul Hassan Bukhari conducted the hearing when the PML-N central leaders were also produced before the court.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court about the NAB’s preparation to file reference in connection with the case and sought adjournment to get time for filing the reference. The NAB official also requested the court to extend the judicial remand of Khawaja brothers.

After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the hearing till March 19 after extending the judicial remand of Khawaja brothers.

The court also directed the bureau to ensure early filing of the reference.

On Dec 11, 2018, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and his brother Salman Rafiq were arrested after a Lahore High Court division bench dismissed their pre-arrest bail petitions.

On February 17, 2019, Saad Rafiq and Salman Rafiq had moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) for bail in the case. They pleaded in the petitions that NAB had implicated them in a fake case without any ground.

Taking to media after court proceeding, Saad Rafiq said that the ongoing cases against them were political victimisation.

He said the PML-N leaders raised the standard of government institutions but did not get any reward for it. He said: “It is a tradition in the country that whosoever works for the national uplift is punished for it, he regretted. “However, we have no sorrow for it,” he said.

Regarding the tension between the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and India, he said that the opposition had played a more responsible role than the federal government to fight the situation.

ABBASI CASE  - The Lahore High Court fixed March 11 for hearing the petition seeking suspension of sentence of PML-N former MNA Hanif Abbasi.

A two-member LHC bench headed by Justice Alia Neelam took up the matter yesterday.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel pleaded that in the ephedrine case, trial was conducted against 8 suspects but only one accused had been awarded punishment.

According to counsel, Hanif Abbasi was alleged of misusing ephedrine quota and the allegation of selling 500 kg ephedrine quota to smugglers is baseless and false.