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LAHORE: A special court (Central) on Monday dismissed an application of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) seeking cancellation of pre-arrest bail of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif in a money laundering case.

The court also summoned all the suspects for indictment on April 11. The court allowed one-time exemption from personal appearance to Shehbaz Sharif on an application filed by his counsel Amjad Pervez. However, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the court.

The court also dismissed a petition of a suspect Muhammad Usman, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

Earlier, a special prosecutor of the FIA opposed the application of Shehbaz saying there was no need for the suspect’s presence in the Supreme Court. Advocate Amjad said Shehbaz had to file a separate petition before the apex court and was busy in consultation with his counsel in Islamabad.

Opposing the petition of the FIA against bail to Shehbaz, the defence counsel argued that the court could not review its earlier order unless there was any illegality. He said the FIA challenged the bail only to please one individual.

He argued that the Supreme Court, in a number of cases, observed that the parliamentarians were entitled to relaxation from courts to attend sessions of the assemblies.

The FIA had asked the court to withdraw its bail granting order as Shehbaz had been misusing the concession of bail. The FIA had booked Leader of Opposition and his sons, Hamza and Suleman, under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and read with Section 3/4 of the Anti-Money laundering Act.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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