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Saturday, April 13, 2024

PM Shehbaz can skip court hearings to fulfill “national responsibilities”

An accountability court has approved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's plea seeking permanent exemption from the court hearings due to his busy schedule as a prime minister.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has received a permanent exemption from attending court hearings in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. An accountability court on Monday approved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s plea for a permanent exemption from personal appearance.

According to details, the Prime Minister appeared before the court today. He stated that he has always ensured his presence in court hearings. However, now he has a huge responsibility as the prime minister and emphasized his busy schedule.

“The purpose of filing the petition is that as prime minister of the country I have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders,” Shehbaz Sharif said.

Read more: PM Shehbaz Sharif heads to Saudi for help

“There are times when I have to travel abroad, meet with the officials of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign dignitaries,” he further added.

As a result, Accountability Judge Asad Ali Awan announced his decision, which was reserved over the plea in a previous hearing. The court adjourned a further hearing of the case on July 05.

Corruption charges against PM Shehbaz 

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has accused Shehbaz Sharif of issuing a directive while being Punjab’s chief minister for the construction of a drain in district Chiniot for the use of Ramzan Sugar Mills, which is owned by his sons Hamza and Suleman.

Pertinent to mention, Hamza is currently serving as the Chief Minister of Punjab. He has also filed an application for a one-time exemption from personal appearance.

Furthermore, NAB has also accused Shehbaz Sharif of causing a huge loss to the national exchequer by awarding the contract of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme to a company without bidding.

Read more: Shahbaz Sharif indicted in Ashiana Housing scandal: NRO or No NRO?

However, the Prime Minister can now skip court hearings since he has received a permanent exemption because of his busy schedule as a prime minister. Needless to say, the NAB prosecutor present at the hearing today opposed the prime minister’s plea, saying that there were no solid reasons for his exemption from personal appearance in the case.