LAHORE - A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Thursday referred a pre-arrest bail petition, filed by Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif in assets beyond means and money laundering case, to the LHC chief Justice for fixing before another bench after a member of the bench recused himself from hearing it.

The matter came up for hearing before a two-judge bench of Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh. However, Justice Chaudhry recused himself from hearing the matter. "I cannot hear the matter due to my relationship with Shehbaz Sharif's counsel, Azam Nazir Tarar," he added.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned further hearing till August 17 and also extended interim bail of Shehbaz Sharif. Shehbaz Sharif  remained present in the court during the proceedings, whereas other PML-N leaders, including Rana Sanaullah, were also present at the occasion. Strict security arrangements were made and policemen were present inside and entry points of the court.

An LHC bench had on June 3 granted interim bail to Shehbaz Sharif in assets beyond means case and the bail had been extended several times.