LAHORE:A special court on Monday summoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz, and others for indictment in money-laundering and sugar scam on April 11. The court also dismissed an application, filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for bail cancellation of Shehbaz Sharif in the matter. Special Judge Central Ejaz Hussain Awan conducted the proceedings on the case, wherein Hamza Shehbaz appeared and got his attendance marked. A counsel for Shehbaz Sharif submitted an exemption application, pleading with the court to exempt his client from personal appearance for one-day due to his engagements in the Supreme Court. However, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) prosecutor opposed the plea and submitted that the apex court had not summoned Shehbaz Sharif in personal capacity. To which, the counsel replied that Shehbaz Sharif as head of the PML-N would file a petition in the apex court on Monday. While referring to the plea for bail cancellation of Shehbaz Sharif, the prosecutor argued that the accused was lingering the matter as he remained absent on many occasions from the court on pretext of ailment or political engagements. He submitted that such actions were absolutely not justified and a mockery of the law. He submitted that the accused remained absent from the court on the last hearing, March 25, and filed an application for exemption from personal appearance, which was accepted by the court. He submitted that the relief was illegal and pleaded with the court to recall interim bail orders of Shehbaz Sharif. However, the counsel, Amjad Pervaiz, argued that his client was opposition leader in the National Assembly and as per superior courts judgments. assembly members could be exempted from personal appearance to attend the session. He pleaded for dismissal of FIA’s application. Another counsel for a co-accused, Usman, also advanced his final arguments against jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter. The court, after hearing detailed arguments of the parties, reserved its verdict on the applications against jurisdiction of the court and bail cancellation of Shehbaz Sharif. Later, the court dismissed both applications and summoned Shehbaz Sharif and other accused for indictment on April 11. The court also allowed the exemption application of Shehbaz Sharif for Monday. Shehbaz Sharif had obtained interim bail from the court in money laundering and sugar scam. However. the FIA had filed an application for cancellation of the bail as he remained absent from the court on March 25. Earlier, the case had been transferred from the special court for banking offences to the special court (Central-I) after the question of the courts’ jurisdiction was decided on Jan 14. The FIA had filed challan against Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and others in money laundering and sugar scam. The FIA nominated Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz as the main accused, besides benamidars and others. Shehbaz Sharif and his sons – Hamza and Suleman – were booked by the FIA in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 of PPC and 5(2) and 5(3) of Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman is absconding and residing in the UK.