–LHC directs NAB to issue a reply to Hamza’s plea
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday granted Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly (PA) Hamza Shehbaz protective bail over his concerns that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will arrest him in connection with the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) case.
As a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader’s plea, the court accepted his plea and granted him protection till November 13.
The court ordered that the Opposition leader not be arrested till the next hearing, and issued a notice to the accountability watchdog, summoning a reply on the plea.
The PSPC is currently being investigated by the NAB after the Supreme Court (SC) found out in April that the company had taken Rs4 billion from the provincial exchequer but did not provide a single glass of clean water
In May 2018, NAB had interrogated Hamza Shehbaz in regard to the PSPC scam, questioning his alleged role in awarding certain contracts and making appointments despite not being a member of the board of directors.
Furthermore, Shehbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf is also being probed by the corruption watchdog for renting out an office in his plaza in Gulberg to the company at overpriced rates.
In 2017, the NAB had launched an investigation into the affairs of 56 public sector companies formed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif’s administration in Punjab for their alleged involvement in corruption.
The companies under investigation have been accused of irregularities, recruitment in violation of procurement rules and merit, nepotism, and non-completion of various projects in time.
Hamza’s father and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has been in custody of the NAB since he was arrested on October 5 in connection with the Ashiana Housing Scheme scam.