NAB prosecutor grilled as LHC grants bail to Hamza in Ramzan Sugar Mills case

Updated 06 Feb 2020

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The petition had argued that the National Accountability Bureau initiated the inquiry with malicious intentions and had failed to find any irregularity committed by the petitioner. — DawnNewsTv/File
The petition had argued that the National Accountability Bureau initiated the inquiry with malicious intentions and had failed to find any irregularity committed by the petitioner. — DawnNewsTv/File

The Lahore High Court on Thursday granted bail to Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz heard the petition.

During the hearing on Thursday, the court grilled the NAB prosecutor over glaring holes in the investigation.

"Why was a supplementary reference filed against the accused when an existing reference had already been filed?" questioned the court.

The NAB prosecutor replied that whenever there had been a new development, a supplementary reference was filed.

"Please point out the laws under which a supplementary reference can be filed after an initial reference has already been filed," the court demanded.

"You do not have any answer to the questions that have been asked. Why are you wasting the nation's time and money?" the judge remarked.

If the investigation officer is unable to file something in 90 days, are they whiling away their time playing board games, the judge questioned.

The court asked the NAB prosecutor whether the drains in question were only made to benefit Ramzan Sugar Mills. "If that is the case, then you have a case for misuse of power."

However, the prosecutor replied that the investigation officer who probed the case was currently on leave due to his examinations.

This prompted Justice Naqvi to say: "Considering the standard of your inquiry, you should all be given the Pride of Performance Award."

On the other hand, Hamza Shehbaz's counsel argued that so far, none of the evidence presented before the court, had proven his client's guilt.

In his petition, Hamza had argued that NAB initiated the inquiry against him with malicious intentions and failed to find any irregularity committed by him.

It had said that the drain in question was built in Bhawana tehsil in public interest after the provincial cabinet and the assembly had granted approval for its construction.

Hamza also argued in the petition that the co-accused in the case, his father and former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, had already been granted bail by the court.

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

In a statement on Thursday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb stated: "Time has, once again, proven the innocence of the leaders of PML-N.

"Those working for the people’s welfare are being proven innocent in the courts," she added.