NAB arrests Shehbaz Sharif after LHC rejects interim bail extension
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Monday arrested Opposition Leader in National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected interim bail in assets beyond means and money laundering case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A two member bench comprising Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider heard the case.
Shehbaz’ lawyers Azam Nazir Tarrar, Amjad Pervez, PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Pervez Malik, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Maryam Aurangzeb, Shumaila Rana, Saira Afzal Tarar, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Ghazali Saleem, Imran Goraiah, Attaullah Tarar and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq were present in the courtroom.
PML-N workers in large numbers were also present outside the court. As soon as the news broke out of the courtroom the PML-N workers chanted slogans in favour of their leader Shehbaz Sharif and against the government and the NAB.
Sensing the gravity of the situation, the police deployed heavy contingents in and around the LHC to avoid any untoward incident. The case hearing was started with NAB lawyers and Shehbaz Sharif’s presenting arguments and counter-arguments before the bench.
Shehbaz’ lawyer Azam Nazir Tarrar presenting the arguments counted the feats of former Chief Minister of Punjab in his last two tenures. He presented arguments how his client saved billions of rupees of national exchequer.
Advocate Amjad Pervez said Shehbaz Sharif has no position in Sharif Group of Companies and his client has nothing to do with any record of Sharif Group of Companies (SGC).
Shehbaz was present on the rostrum along with his lawyers during the hearing of interim bail application.
Lawyer of Shehbaz Sharif, Amjad Pervaiz said according to the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP), burden of proof in the case of benami applicants, like in this case, lies on the prosecution. He said in the SCP verdict, four basic elements have been fixed which explain the benami applicant.
Amjad Pervez said, “In thousands of pages referenced in 58 volumes against Shehbaz Sharif, there is no documentary evidence against his client. All the opinions in the reference are written by the Investigating Officer (IO) himself. There is no statement of sections 161 and 164 of the Criminal Code.”
During the hearing Shehbaz asked the Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, if he was allowed to speak to which, Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem said let his counsel first present the arguments.
“As per tax returns record, Nusrat Shehbaz is filler since 2004, Hamza Shehbaz since 1996, Salman Shehbaz since 1996, Javeria Ali and Rabia Imran since 2007,” he further said.
“Shehbaz Sharif’s children were not dependent on him especially from those dates on which NAB accused Shehbaz Sharif of making assets beyond means,” Amjad Pervaiz said.
Azam Nazir Tarrar, advocate of Shehbaz Sharif said that the government wanted to put his client in jail because the local bodies’ elections are coming ahead.
Tarrar presented arguments that SJP has clearly interpreted the definition of a dependent in the Panama Case and by that definition any member of the family of Shehbaz Sharif could not be called as dependent on his client.
On the other hand, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecution insisted that NAB needed the remand of Shehbaz Sharif as the investigations against him had not yet been completed.
Earlier on September 24, in their arguments, Shehbaz’s lawyers said their client had come from London to face courts. “The NAB put his name on the ECL with ill-intentions,” said counsel Amjad Pervaiz. He said the Supreme Court had in a recent judgment ruled that if a reference is filed then what use of an arrest.
“Shehbaz Sharif came back to face NAB action and to surrender before the authorities and he went abroad only for his treatment,” Shehbaz’s other lawyer Azam Nazir Tarrar said.
“People say local government elections are coming so Shehbaz Sharif should be put in jail so that his rivals can get an open field to play. He is being targeted for revenge.” The PML-N President in a conversation with the judges said “I wanted to come back to my people and to surrender before the authorities.”
Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem asked Amjad Pervaiz to complete his arguments in four days and adjourned the hearing until Monday.
Talking to journalists, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said Shehbaz Sharif is innocent. “He is being targeted with the worst victimization.
Now, there is no doubt that this government is being run through NAB,” he remarked. Saad Rafique told newsmen that NAB cases are a pack of lies and fraud.