PM Shehbaz gets exemption from appearance in Ashiana case

Published September 24, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif talks to the media outside a special court in Lahore on. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif talks to the media outside a special court in Lahore on. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday granted permanent exemption from personal appearance to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a reference of Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme.

The prime minister had filed applications for a permanent exemption from personal appearance in the NAB references citing official responsibilities.

The court had on June 20 allowed the application of Shehbaz to the extent of Ramzan Sugar Mills reference. Now the court allowed the other application too.

The court also allowed one-time exemption from appearance to accused Ahad Khan Cheema as he was out of the country with the prime minister.

The court adjourned further hearing till Oct 7 and also extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Kamran Kiyani and Nadeem Zia.

The NAB alleged that Shehbaz and other accused persons caused a huge loss to the national exchequer by awarding the contract of the housing scheme to a company without bidding.

It arrested Cheema on Feb 21, 2018, on charges of misusing his authority with criminal intent and awarding Rs14 billion contracts of Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing scheme.

It alleged that Cheema received illegal gratification in the form of 32 kanals of land from the owners of the Paragon City Developers in reward for the contract of the housing scheme awarded to its proxy firm namely Bismillah Engineering.

Former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad is also an accused in this reference and a pleader, approved by the court, attends the hearings on his behalf.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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