The PML-N president, who has been in NAB custody since Oct 5, was presented in the court in Lahore amid tight security as NAB’s earlier 15-day physical remand is set to expire today.
Before the arrival of the former Punjab chief minister in court today, all routes leading to the court were cordoned off with security barriers. Individuals unrelated to the court were stopped from entering the premises, and lawyers went through a comprehensive search before being permitted to entire the court.
Shahbaz is accused of ordering the cancellation of a contract given to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and Sons for the Ashiana Housing Scheme, and engineering the subsequent award of the contract to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City Private Limited, resulting in a loss of Rs193 million to the exchequer.
He is also accused of directing the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to assign the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), resulting in the award of contract to the Lahore Casa developers, causing the loss of Rs715 million and the ultimate failure of the project.
NAB has also accused Shahbaz of directing the PLDC to award the consultancy services of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to Engineering Consultancy Services Punjab (ECSP) for Rs192 million while the actual cost was supposed to be Rs35 million as quoted by Nespak.
Shahbaz bought his own files to court of Accountability Judge Syed Najamul Hasan, declined any involvement in the case and began reading out his files in court.
He was asked to wait by the court, which said it would first hear NAB’s stance.
According to the NAB lawyer, the PML-N leader had expressed ignorance in each of the questions they had asked him.
As NAB asked for a 15-day extension in Shahbaz’s remand, the PML-N leader’s lawyer opposed the request saying that the bureau had been unable to extract any information from Shahbaz in the past 10 days.
He asked the court to reject NAB’s demand for an extension in Shahbaz’s remand.