The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in an assets case against him.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Tariq Abbasi granted bail to the opposition leader after hearing initial arguments from his lawyer and a NAB counsel on his petition through which he sought pre-arrest bail.
The bench directed him to furnish a surety bond of Rs500,000 to secure the bail until June 17.
Shehbaz Sharif appeared before the bench as a large number of PML-N leaders and workers also gathered on the LHC premises to show solidarity to their leader in utter disregard for social distancing protocols introduced to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
National Accountability Burea (NAB) teams were present at the entrance to the high court to apprehend the opposition leader in case the LHC doesn’t grant him bail. A heavy contingent of law enforcers was also present to avert any untoward incident.
The bench directed the anti-corruption watchdog to submit its response to the petition by next hearing.
On Tuesday afternoon, a NAB team along with a heavy contingent of police raided the residence of Shehbaz Sharif in Model Town. It remained outside his residence for more than an hour as the law enforcement personnel cordoned off roads leading to the house.
However, the team returned as Shehbaz Sharif was not present at home.
The NAB team carried out a raid at the residence of Shehbaz Sharif after he refused to appear before the accountability watchdog in the assets beyond means case. He, however, opted to submit a written statement to the accountability watchdog in response to a questionnaire handed over to him.
Sharif through his lawyer Amjad Pervaiz moved the bail petition, citing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal and others as respondents.
He claimed in his petition that the corruption watchdog’s assets beyond means case against him is based on mala fide intentions. It launched the probe against him under the incumbent government’s influence, he alleged.