ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz moved before the Supreme Court on Wednesday an application seeking early fixing of his bail plea filed in April 25 this year.
“It is expedient in the interest of justice that the titled CPLA (civil petition for leave to appeal) may be fixed at an early date,” said the one-page application filed through his counsel Azam Nazir Tarar.
Hamza is facing a money laundering and assets beyond means case. He was arrested on June 11, 2019, and is under incarceration.
The application stated that the case against Hamza filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) comprised voluminous record and proposed 110 prosecution witnesses of whom the testimonies of three witnesses had so far been recorded. “Hamza Shehbaz has been behind bars for the last 18 months,” the application said, adding that his petition for grant of bail pending trial was always a matter that required urgent hearing since it involved his fundamental rights to life, liberty, reputation and fair trial.
In his petition, the PML-N leader also pleaded that he had been made a target of political victimisation by anti-democratic rival political groups, adding that allegations of money laundering and possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income were all frivolous. The petition contended that continued incarceration of the petitioner was merely a device of harassment.
NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal had on March 20 also approached the Supreme Court with a request to annul the Feb 6 Lahore High Court’s post-arrest bail granted to Hamza Shehbaz in a different case accusing him of misusing a grant of Rs360 million released by the Punjab government in 2015 for launching a drainage scheme in Chiniot district. The public grant was allegedly misused and instead a 9-10km long waste water course for Ramzan Sugar Mills Ltd, Chiniot, was constructed while fraudulently describing it as a drainage scheme for the local people.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2020