PML-N President Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif’s application seeking exemption from personal court appearance in the money laundering case was Monday accepted by Special Court Central Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan. The application, submitted on the PML-N leader’s behalf, sought exemption owing to the National Assembly session. The court had fixed April 11 for indicting Shehbaz and his son, Hamza Shehbaz, in an alleged Rs25 billion money laundering case. The prosecuting team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also did not appear before the court for arguments. The court adjourned the case till April 27 and extended the PML-N leaders’ interim bail, says a news report. In earlier proceedings, the court had rejected the FIA’s plea for granting Shehbaz an exemption from personal appearance before the court. The court at that time had also accepted Shehbaz’s application for granting him exemption from personal appearance. It is worth mentioning that the court at that time had also rejected FIA’s application wherein the bail cancellation of Shehbaz was sought on the grounds that no law provision was available that gave concession to an accused to be absent from court at bail stage. The FIA’s representatives had submitted an application with a special central court judge contending that Shehbaz remained absent from this court a number of times, sometimes owing to his ailment, on others owing to his engagements in political activities, which was absolutely not justified and was akin to making a mockery of the law. On March 25, the accused remained absent from the court, an application for dispensation of attendance was moved on his behalf and this court was pleased to dispense with the attendance of the accused in bail proceedings. “That the citation relied upon the accused Shehbaz and this court is misunderstood and misinterpreted by the counsel of the accused and this court dispensed with the attendance of the accused from personal appearance. The counsel for the accused has wrongly assisted the court in order to obtain a pre-inqurium order on March 25, 2022,” the court observed. The FIA prayed to the court that the said order be recalled and the bail be dismissed. Petitioners Shehbaz and his son Hamza in their pre-arrest bails had contended that the version of the FIA had nothing to do with reality. They submitted that they had been implicated in a forged case merely to humiliate them and the allegations leveled against them by the quarters concerned were quite false and incorrect. They implored the court that the FIA issued them notices on June 22 to join investigation while the truth was that the NAB had already carried investigation on the same allegation of money laundering. They added that they wanted to appear before the investigation team but they feared being arrested at the hands of FIA, as there were examples relating to their arrests when they had been summoned in a different nature case but arrested in another matter.