LAHORE - A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court on Thursday granted bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

The bench comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Chaudhry Abdul Aziz heard the post-arrest bail petition, filed by the petitioner.

As the proceedings resumed, the bench inquired from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor that if the reference had already been filed then why a supplementary reference was filed in the case.

The prosecutor replied that the supplementary reference could be filed if new evidence emerged during investigations. At this, the bench asked the prosecutor to name the law under which the supplementary reference could be filed, adding that why the investigation officer could not finalise the investigations in 90 days period.

Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, on behalf of Hamza Shehbaz, argued that his client was arrested with mala fide intention in the case. He said that the bureau had failed to prove anything against his client so far. He pleaded with the court to grant benefit of bail to his client.

To which, the NAB prosecutor submitted that there were seven directors of Ramzan Sugar Mills and Hamza Shehbaz was one of them.  At this stage, the bench expressed annoyance over the NAB prosecutor and asked whether the drain was built to facilitate Ramzan Sugar Mills only. Did you bring evidence of misuse of power, it added. The prosecutor submitted that the officer concerned was on leave for examinations.

At this, Justice Mazahar criticised the NAB investigation and questioned whether Shehbaz Sharif had more powers or Hamza.  Subsequently, the bench granted bail to Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills case. Hamza Shehbaz, through the bail plea, had submitted that the drain was built in Tehsil Bharwana in the public interest.

 He submitted that the sewage drain was constructed after the approval of the provincial cabinet and the assembly. He submitted that the bureau had failed to find any evidence against him whereas co-accused Shehbaz Sharif had already been granted bail in the case. He pleaded with the court to grant benefit of the bail to him.

NAB had alleged that Former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif misused his authority by using public funds for construction of a drain to facilitate the Ramzan Sugar Mills, owned by his sons.