LAHORE - Rejecting the National Accountability Bureau’s plea for arrest warrants for former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in Ashiana Housing Scheme scandal and Ramzan Sugar Mills over his failure to appear before it, an accountability court, after due proceedings on Tuesday, exempted him from personal appearance till June 13.

In London for the past several weeks for medical checkup and other family engagements, the PML-N president will return to Pakistan on June 11, his lawyer said in court.

Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and bureaucrats Fawad Hassan Fawad, Ahad Cheema and other accused in the two cases were present.

The NAB lawyer said in court that all medical tests and treatment of the opposition leader were possible in Pakistan. He alleged that medical treatment was being used as a pretext for exemption from the hearings. He contended that Sharif went abroad without obtaining approval from the court.

In the Ashiana housing scam, Shehbaz is accused of ordering cancellation of a contract given to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and Sons for the low-cost housing scheme. The contract was ultimately awarded to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City Private Limited, resulting in a loss of Rs193 million.

In Ramzan Sugar Mills corruption case, Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz are accused of fraudulently and dishonestly causing Rs213 million loss to the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, the NAB Lahore has summoned Hamza Shehbaz for Wednesday (today) in assets-beyond-means case. He will be interrogated by the relevant people.