LAHORE: An accountability court in Lahore on Thursday indicted National Assembly Opposition Leader and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills reference.
NAB accuses Shahbaz of approving the construction of a drain in Chiniot with a cost of Rs360 million only to benefit the sugar mill owned by his sons, Hamza and Salman. According to the bureau, the approval for the construction was given on a fake application filed by then MPA Maulana Rehmatullah to paint the drain as a public project. But, it adds, public funds were misused for the benefit of the family business of the suspects.
During the hearing, presided over by Justice Amjad Nazir Chaudhry, the accused pleaded not guilty. The judge also rejected a request seeking more time to prepare the case.
Terming the reference as fake, the former Punjab chief minister said he was being unfairly dragged into the case as he always worked with honesty and served the province for ten years.
“I didn’t take a salary and petrol money during my tenure. I brought in foreign investment for economic stability,” he said.
Subsequently, the accountability court summoned the witnesses in the next hearing and directed the parties to record their arguments in the next hearing.