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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has stated that the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order to inform former chief minister of Punjab Hamza Shehbaz before arresting him in the clean water, Ramzan Sugar Mills, and assets case was against the law.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Thursday heard the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the LHC order.

The apex court stated that there is no requirement in the law to inform the accused before the arrest, adding the order to inform Hamza 10 days prior to arrest should not be used as a judicial precedent. The bench; therefore, declared the LHC order null and void, and disposed of the case on the grounds that the order of the LHC was ineffective.

The LHC had ordered to inform the former chief minister before his arrest in the clean water, Ramzan Sugar Mills, and excess assets case.

Earlier, a special central court had acquitted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz in the Rs16 billion money laundering case.

The special court judge had reserved the decision after hearing detailed arguments on the acquittal application of both the accused persons. However, after acquitting the aforesaid, the court summoned the rest of the accused for framing of charges in the case.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s arguments revolved around expelling the impression that there is not even a single direct allegation upon the premier and his son Hamza which could establish their guilt in the case.

The FIA’s prosecutor through his arguments had given clean chit to the PM and his son arguing that the record shows that neither the amounts had ever been deposited nor withdrawn directly from Shehbaz and Hamza’s bank accounts.

On the judge’s queries regarding evidence of the transaction of the amounts, if made on their directions, the FIA’s stance was that there is no evidence that could establish it.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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