SUNDAY TIMES LAHORE:The reference, comprising around 1000 pages and three volumes, nominated a total of 13 accused, including Mr Sharif, Fawad and former Land and Development Authority  director general Ahad Cheema.

Other suspects named in the reference included Nadeem Zia, Shahid Shafiq, Bilal Qadwai, Muneer Zia, Khalid Hussain, Ali Sajjid, Chaudhry Shafiq, and Imtiaz Haider.

Mr Sharif, who previously served as Punjab chief minister for two consecutive terms, has been accused of misusing his authority to illegally issue directives for cancellation of contract with regard to the housing project in 2014.

In March 2014, the former chief minister visited the Ashiana-e-Iqbal project site and halted its bidding process, according to the reference.

The Punjab Land Development Company  was looking after the project, but Mr Sharif after visiting the site decided to assign the project to the Lahore Development Authority  which resulted in award of contract to the Lahore Casa Developers (JV), causing Rs715m loss to the exchequer, the reference reads.

The NAB had arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the scam on October 5 inside its Lahore office when he appeared there in response to its summon for questioning in connection with a probe into the Saaf Pani Company scam.

According to NAB, “the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons but former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs 14 billion contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by Railways Minister Saad Rafique”.

“Fawad, who was implementation secretary to the chief minister Punjab at the time, levelled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif and Sons so that the contract be awarded to Casa Developers.”