An accountability court approves a plea of PM Shehbaz Sharif for permanent exemption in Ramzan Sugar Mills

 An accountability court on Monday approved a plea of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for permanent exemption from attending the hearing in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Accountability Judge Asad Ali Awan announced his decision, which was reserved over the plea in a previous hearing.

Shehbaz Sharif in his application argued that he could not appear before the court as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He had sought the court’s instructions for nominating pleaders in the case.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case July 05.

 The court also summoned lawyers in the next hearing for arguments over acquittal petitions of the accused.

In the plea filed through his lawyer, he had stated that he saved billions of rupees of the public in government schemes. He said he was neither a shareholder nor the director of the sugar mill as he had already transferred his properties to his children.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed to prove corruption charges against him, he claimed, requesting the court to acquit him in the case.

In Dec, his son and now Chief Minister of Punjab, Hamza Shahbaz had moved an acquittal plea in the Ramzan Sugar Mills reference. He filed the acquittal plea on the basis of the amendments made to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law.

He stated that the corruption watchdog filed the reference against him for allegedly getting a drain built with the public funds to facilitate the Ramzan Sugar Mills.

The NAB reference is ill-founded and based on mala fide intentions and on political grounds, he alleged.