LAHORE-A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted pre-arrest interim bail till April 17 to Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in Saaf Pani and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

The bench consisting of Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf granted the bail and ordered the petitioner to submit surety bonds worth Rs10 million in each case. The bench also issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and sought reply from the respondent.

The bench passed the orders in the two pre-arrest bail petitions filed by the PML-N leader in the two cases.

Representing Hamza, his counsel contended that the accountability watchdog had launched three inquiries against his client in the Ramzan Sugar Mills, Saaf Pani Company and assets beyond means cases.

He pleaded that the bureau had summoned his client for investigation in money laundering and assets beyond means case. He said that the court had already granted pre-arrest interim bail to the PML-N leader in the assets beyond means case. However, he added, his client had apprehension that he could be arrested in other cases. He submitted the court may kindly accept the petition and grant him the pre-arrest bail.

After hearing the arguments, the court granted interim bail to the PML-N leader till April 17. The court directed NAB not to arrest the petitioner and issued a notice to the bureau for reply.

At the very outset of the proceedings, the PML-N activists caused disturbance in and outside the court which annoyed the judges as the bench expressed displeasure over the incident.  Nevertheless, Hamza assured the bench that it would not be repeated in the future.

Also during the hearing of another case in which Hamza had been granted interim bail in the assets beyond means case, the door of the court was broken due to rush of the PML-N workers.

The accountability watchdog had summoned him for yesterday, though the LHC last Monday granted him pre-arrest bail for 10 days in the case pertaining to accumulating assets beyond means.