Lahore – Tahir Chudhary:
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on a petition of opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz seeking bail in an assets beyond means case.
After a preliminary hearing, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Sarfraz Dogar issued a notice to the bureau to file its response to the bail petition by next hearing on Feb 17.
Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar and Amjad Pervez appeared before the court on behalf of Hamza, stating that their client was arrested in the assets beyond means and money laundering case on June 11, 2019. The corruption watchdog filed the reference in the case after fourteen months since his arrest while he was indicted after 16 months, they added.
They said 16 people have been named accused in the case while eleven of them are being tried. All accused have their own counsels to defend them, which means the trial is unlikely to conclude any time soon, they argued.
“Keeping an accused in detention for a longer period is akin to awarding him sentence even before the conclusion of trial,” the lawyers contended and pleaded with the court to order their client’s release on bail.