LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday adjourned hearing of a petition of Nusrat Shehbaz, wife of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, against the proceedings to declare her absconder in the money laundering and illegal assets reference allowing her counsel to file a rejoinder to a reply filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural, was told that the NAB had submitted its reply to the petition by Nusrat questioning the maintainability of it and urging the court to dismiss the same.
The counsel of Nusrat sought time from the bench to file a rejoinder after going through the bureau’s reply. The bench allowed time to the counsel and adjourned hearing till Feb 24.
In this case, the court had already suspended the impugned proceedings against the petitioner.
Ms Nusrat, who at present is in London, filed the petition through PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar as her special attorney. She asked the LHC to set aside the impugned order of the trial court regarding denial of exemption from personal appearance and the issuance of her non-bailable arrest warrants for being illegal.
The petitioner contended that she filed an application for exemption from personal appearance, supported with verified medical documents, in the [trial] proceedings but the trial court dismissed the same contrary to the facts.
On the other side, the NAB opposed the petition saying non-bailable arrest warrants and proceedings to declare the petitioner absconder had been initiated after she failed to appear before the trial court. It alleged Nusrat played a key role in the money laundering committed by her husband and children.
The NAB asked the court to dismiss the petition for being non-maintainable and allow the trial court and the prosecution to continue proceedings against the petitioner in terms of section 87 and 88 of CrPC.
Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2021