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LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday withdrew exemption from personal appearance given to Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and directed the jail authorities to produce him before the court in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme reference on January 26.

The court observed that the suspect had been appearing before the courts in other cases, therefore, the exemption could not be granted any more. The court vide its order dated January 17, 2020, had granted a permanent exemption to Shehbaz from personal appearance in the reference when he was in London to take care of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif.

A pleader was appointed by the court to appear on his behalf on each hearing. Besides Shehbaz, former principal secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad and former director general of the Lahore Development Authority Ahad Khan Cheema are also among the accused in the housing scheme reference. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alleged that Shehbaz, being the chief minister of Punjab, misused his authority and awarded contract to a proxy firm in connivance with the co-suspects that resulted in failure of Ashiana Housing Scheme.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021