LAHORE               -           The Lahore High Court has set a hearing date for the bail application of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills reference. A two-member bench comprising of Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz of the LHC will preside over the case on Jan 29 whereas, a notice has been issued to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in this regard.

Hamza Shahbaz filed his bail plea through Advocate Amjad Pervaiz in Punjab Assembly. NAB chairman, NAB Directorate General and Investigating Officer have been made parties in the petition.

The petition states that the anti-graft watchdog launched an investigation into the Ramzan Sugar Mills on the basis of malpractice but nothing was found despite multiple inquiries. It further read that the sewerage system on which the NAB initiated the investigation was made following the approval from then-provincial cabinet and assembly.

Advocate Amjad Pervaiz took a stance in the plea that co-accused Shehbaz Sharif has already been released on bail. He further stated that Hamza should also be exempted from the case as he is the Leader of the Opposition and it is difficult for him to perform his duty from behind the bars.

The petition read that the illegal detention of Hamza Shahbaz violates Articles 4, 9, 13, 14 and 25 of the Constitution.

Hamza Shahbaz was arrested by NAB Lahore on June 11, 2019 in Ramzan Sugar Mills, and money laundering and assets beyond means cases. NNI