After Maryam Nawaz, LHC grants bail to Shehbaz Sharif

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted bail to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in assets beyond means case.

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday granted bail to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in assets beyond means case. The PML-N president had approached the high court against his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the corruption reference also involving his family members.

Shehbaz was granted bail against two surety bonds of Rs5 million each. The LHC had earlier reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from both parties. Shehbaz was taken into custody on September 28 from the high court premises after his bail application was rejected.

Notably, the LCH has recently directed the NAB to inform Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz prior to the issuance of her arrest warrants in the Jati Umra land case.

The LHC conducted the hearing of the bail plea submitted by PML-N VP Maryam Nawaz in the Jati Umra land case. Maryam has also appeared in the hearing.

The high court wrapped up the petition after ordering the anti-corruption watchdog to inform Maryam Nawaz 10 days prior to issuing arrest warrants. The court ruled that Maryam could move to the court for bail after getting a notice of the arrest warrants.

Earlier on March 24, the LHC had approved the interim bail of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz till April 12 and sought a reply from the NAB.

A two-member bench of the LHC comprising Justice Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural had heard the bail petition of Maryam in the Jati Umra land case.

The court granted the interim bail to Maryam till April 12 and asked the petitioner to submit two surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

According to the corruption watchdog, the Sharif family members allegedly illegally acquired 3,500 kanals of land in Raiwind in collusion with the district administration and revenue officials in 2013.

In 2015, then Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema and the Lahore deputy commissioner altered the master plan, declaring hundreds of kanals of land green-land area, the NAB said.

Case against Maryam Nawaz: Background and facts

The NAB has also summoned former DC Lahore Noorul Amin Mengal in this regard. This case is against former PM Nawaz Sharif, his mother Shamim Begum, Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif.

The NAB Lahore has asked Maryam to appear before the investigators on August 11 along with details of land acquired by her in Raiwind and Jati Umra. She has been asked to provide sources of funds from which the land was purchased. The NAB has asked Maryam to come with details if she has sold any piece of land along with details about the use of land whether it is being used for agriculture or any commercial activity. As per sources, this investigation is about 3,568 Kanals acquired by the Sharif family in 2013. The NAB will also investigate the former PM along with his mother Shamim Begum after they return to the country from the UK.

Maryam is accused of acquiring 180 Acres (1,440 Kanals) of what was allegedly supposed to be government land in Raiwind. The land transfer was done during DC Amin Mengal and former DG LDA Ahad Cheema’s tenure.

A piece of land measuring over 3,568 Kanals was bought by the Sharif family in 2013. The largest part of the property, 1,936 Kanals, was transferred in the name of Nawaz’s mother Shamim Bibi. The land that was transferred to Maryam was 1,440 Kanals. A 96-Kanal plot each was also transferred to Nawaz and Shahbaz.

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The sources claimed most of the land was government land which the Sharif family illegally got transferred in their name at cheap rates. Moreover, only the LDA had the authority to deal with such matters but the Sharif family involved local government officials. The property was declared as green land to stop construction around the Sharif family’s Jati Umra mansions.