LAHORE - A special bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notice to NAB for today (Thursday) to submit reply on an application of Interior Minister Rehman Malik seeking his exemption from personal appearance in the court for hearing of his appeals against his conviction in two NAB references. In 1997, the federal minister was granted bail after his conviction. The bench also extended till March 25 the stay earlier granted to Rehman against his conviction. On Tuesday, Ch Mustaq Advocate, counsel for the interior minister, appearing before the bench of Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif and Justice Waqar Hassan Mir requested that Malik should be exempted permanently from his personal appearance in view of his official engagements. In the application Rehman has taken a plea that he is going on a tour of China and Europe along with a delegation and it would not be possible for him to appear before the Lahore High Court on March 25 for hearing of cases. The chief Justice remarked that NAB had made the cases against Rehman and he could not be granted exemption without listening the version of NAB. Thus the court issued notice to NAB so that authorities concerned could be given a chance to present their viewpoint before deciding the exemption application. One reference against Rehman was registered by FIA on complaint of one Hashim Raza, a resident of Lahore. He alleged Rehman Malik along with Muhammad Sajjad Haider, AD/FIA Islamabad, and others raided his house in August 1994 and looted 20 tolas gold and Rs 700,000. The complainant further alleged that two persons in plainclothes snatched US $ 20,000 from his brother when they transported him from Lahore Airport to FIA office on his (brothers) arrival from USA. In second reference Rehman Malik and others were accused of receiving two cars worth Rs1,798,000 from one Saleem Godial of Toyota Central Motors, Karachi, as gratification on account of purchase of official vehicles by FIA. Advocate Gaffran Khurshid, counsel for complainant Hashim Raza, had opposed the application for Rehmans exemption from personal appearance in the court.