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Thursday Feb 06 2020

LHC grants Hamza Shehbaz bail in Ramzan Sugar Mills case

 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz. Photo: File 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday accepted the bail plea filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

A two-member bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, on Thursday conducted a hearing into the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. 

Shehbaz had been indicted in the sugar mills case along with his father, former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on April 9 last year. 

In his petition for bail, filed through counsel Amjad Pervaiz, the PML-N leader had alleged that the accountability bureau had initiated an inquiry into Ramzan Sugar Mills with malicious intentions, according to a report in The News.

The petition further stated that the bureau had failed to find any irregularity. 

“The nullah was built in tehsil Bhawana in the public interest,” the petition said. 

On February 18, 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference against Hamza and Shehbaz, alleging that the former chief minister Punjab had misused his authority to get a 10-km sludge carrier constructed in district Chiniot to facilitate Ramzan Sugar Mills, owned by his sons. 

The bureau had alleged that the 'project' had inflicted a loss of Rs213 million to the national exchequer.

On April 17, 2019, Hamza was granted pre-arrest bail by the LHC, which also restrained NAB from arresting him in cases pertaining to ownership of assets beyond means until further notice. Hamza was also directed to submit bail bonds worth Rs10 million at the time. 

The PML-N leader was then arrested by NAB from inside the LHC on June 11 in the Ramzan Sugar Mills and money laundering cases after the two-member bench rejected Hamza's bail.

The court will hear the bail petition in the separate money laundering case against Hamza on February 11.