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NAB to submit charges against Shehbaz Sharif

03 May, 2019

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The Supreme Court Thursday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a summary outlining charges against the Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the bureau’s appeals questioning the bail granted to Shehbaz in the Ashiana housing scandal and Ramzan Sugar Mills case, and Fawad Hassan Fawad in the Ashiana housing case.

Naeem Bukhari appeared before the bench on behalf of the NAB. “Bukhari Sahib, you will have to put in great effort for cancellation of the bails,” Justice Saeed remarked, while pointing to the NAB lawyer. He said the apex court has to hear arguments of the NAB counsel and investigation officer in the case. Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, directed the counsel to furnish a chart and summary showing charges against Shehbaz and Fawad.

The hearing was later adjourned until May 15. At the previous hearing, Bukhari had contended before the court that the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail to the accused in violation of the principles laid down by the apex court. He had argued that the high court erred in taking the true facts into consideration and alleged that Shehbaz was the mastermind of the Ashiana scandal.

The anti-corruption watchdog had approached the apex court challenging the bail granted to Shehbaz in the Ashiana and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases, while Fawad Hassan Fawad’s bail in the Ashiana housing scandal.

The NAB petitions stated that the LHC had not reviewed the facts and regulations in the Ashiana case. The NAB contended that the top court had already defined criteria for grant of bail in NAB cases, adding that the high court’s verdict is contrary to the standards set up by the apex court. Shehbaz Sharif and Fawad Hassan Fawad are key accused in the case and bails granted to them must be suspended after nullifying the LHC verdict, the NAB pleaded to the court. On February 14, the LHC had approved the bail plea of Shehbaz Sharif, ordering his release.

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