Seeking bail on merit will be tantamount to scale up a mountain: SC

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 08 (Online): Supreme Court (SC) has issued notice to NAB on bail plea of Hamza Shahbaz besides expressing displeasure over not arresting other accused including Suleman Shahbaz in the case.

Justice Yahya Afridi has remarked seeking bail on merit will be tantamount to scale up a mountain. If accounts attributed to Hamza Shahbaz are reviewed then it will become difficult situation.

A 3-member bench of SC presided over by Justice Mushir Alam took up for hearing bail plea of opposition leader in Punjab assembly Hamza Shahbaz for hearing Tuesday.

The judges remarked Hamza Shahbaz has been made benamidar of Shahbaz Sharif in NAB references. As to why he has not resorted to high court for his bail. As to why the trial of Shahbaz Sharif be not allowed to be completed. If Shahbaz Sharif is acquitted then Hamza too will be acquitted.
Amjid Pervez, counsel for Hamza Shahbaz Sharif argued Hamza Shahbaz was arrested on June 11, 2019. Charge was framed against him on November 11, 2020 after filing the reference . The statements of only 3 out of 110 witnesses of this case have been recorded as yet. Hamza Shahbaz was charged with holding 23 accounts of Rs 180 million. Shahbaz Sharif has not resorted to high court for bail.

Justice Yahya Afridi remarked there should be no discrimination with any one in trial court. SC has issued orders the hearing of NAB cases will take place on day to day basis.
The court also expressed annoyance for not arresting Suleman Shahbaz and co-accused.

The court sought details of confiscated property of the all absconding accused.

The court has sought details of the NAB cases of Hamza Shahbaz pending hearing in Accountability Court (AC) Lahore.

The court inquired how many cases are pending hearing in trial court so far. Tell us what is number of the case of Hamza Shahbaz in trial court and its turn will come when in trial court.

The counsel for Hamza Shahbaz prayed the court to grant bail to his client on merit.

Justice Yahya Afridi remarked “don’t seek bail on merit. This will be tantamount to scale up mountain. From where the money came to your account. Leave this matter.

Justice Mushir Alam remarked it will become difficult if the accounts attributed to Hamza Shahbaz are reviewed. It is better that no observation be sought from the court on merit.

The SC inquired tell us as to why the properties of the absconding accused have not been confiscated so far.

The court also sought reply from NAB for delaying the proceedings of confiscation of property.

Justice Yahya Afridi inquired from counsel of NAB how much time is needed by NAB for recording the statements of the witnesses.

Additional Prosecutor NAB Imran ul Haq told the court NAB will record the statements of the witnesses within six months. The witnesses are employees of Sharif family. Recording their statements by summoning them is a difficult matter. The other accused of the case have been declared proclaimed offenders.

Counsel for Azam Nazir Tarar said on one occasion that relief be given to the witnesses of the case as they are employees against monthly salary of Rs 30000 each.

Justice Mushir Alam inquired why the process of recording the statements of the witnesses is taking so much time. Why the other accused of the case have not been arrested.
Justice Mushir Alam while addressing the counsel for petitioner remarked on one occasion “ do you know how much money is kept in the bank accounts of these persons who are drawing monthly salary of Rs 30000.
Justice Tariq Masood remarked NAB job is this it arrests one accused and let off others.NAB arrested the accused on June 11, 2019. Why the property of accused persons has not been confiscated so far. Some day we will summon all NAB files and will check daily proceedings of NAB. Why the property of Suleman Shahbaz has not been confiscated. The entire reference is lying empty. The absconding accused were only declared proclaimed offenders. The accused don’t go to the trial court. On every second day their application for exemption from attendance come.

The court while summoning details of all pending cases from NAB trial court adjourned the hearing of the case for indefinite period.

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