LHC seeks AGP’s help on Maryam’s plea for permission to go abroad

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought assistance from Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan on a petition filed by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz seeking one-time permission to travel to London to inquire after her ailing father former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

“We want to hear point of view of the attorney general on the issue in hand,” Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, heading a two-judge bench, told Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Ishtiaq A Khan.

The judge asked the law officer to apprise the bench of the availability of the top law officer so the next hearing could be fixed.

“The federal government has already filed its reply in the case,” Mr Khan said, apparently to persuade the bench that the attorney general would have the same view as the government had already expressed in its reply.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

However, Justice Najafi observed that the bench would like to hear the AGP as well.

“We will summon him [AGP] through an order if he cannot appear,” the judge told the additional advocate general.

Mr Khan, however, said the AGP would definitely appear whenever required by the court.

Meanwhile, the law officer told the bench that the Punjab government had decided against extending Mr Sharif’s stay abroad. Therefore, he said the petition by Ms Nawaz stood infructuous.

The bench adjourned the hearing with direction to the additional-AG to inform it about the availability of the AGP so it could fix next hearing.

Later, the bench fix March 11 for the next hearing.

Earlier, advocate Azam Nazir Tarar argued on behalf of the petitioner and stated that the doctors in London advised surgical procedure to Mr Sharif.

He said the petitioner had already lost her mother and she had voluntarily returned to the country to serve sentence handed down to her by an accountability court.

Mr Tarar said Mr Sharif had not regained his health so far as he was still undergoing diagnostic process as per fresh medical reports filed with the court.

The counsel argued that the petitioner was in a dire need to go abroad to attend to and inquire after her ailing father.

He referred to a Sindh High Court decision wherein an undertrial prisoner was allowed to travel abroad once.

He said the name of the petitioner be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) and she be given a one-time permission for six weeks to travel to and stay in London.

The reply filed by the federal government said the petitioner, being a convict, could not be allowed to leave the country. It said the name of the petitioner had been placed on the ECL following her conviction by an accountability court.

It further said the petitioner had not challenged the decision of a sub-committee of the federal cabinet on her representation that also refused to permit her to travel abroad. The petitioner had only assailed the impugned memorandum of the ECL, the reply added.

Ms Nawaz had already been released on bail by the court in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case with a condition of surrendering her passport.