LAHORE: The registrar office of the Lahore High Court on Monday refused to entertain a contempt of court petition moved by Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif against various authorities of the government for not letting him fly abroad in defiance of the court order.

The office put an objection on the petition and returned the same to the legal team of Shehbaz saying the contempt petition did not fall in the category of the cases permitted to be instituted during the enforcement of Covid-related SOPs.

The petition sought contempt proceedings against Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Federal Investigation Agency Director General Wajid Zia, agency’s Lahore director Dr Muhammad Rizwan, deputy director immigration Ayesha Agha Khan, inspector immigration Razia Parveen and sub-inspector immigration Rana Ijaz.

Petition seeking implementation of court’s May 7 order to be heard today

However, the legal team filed a civil miscellaneous application asking the court to ensure implementation of its May 7 order wherein Shehbaz was given a one-time permission to go to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi will hear the application on Tuesday (today).

“Keeping in view the past conduct and travel history, the fact that name of the petitioner is not in Exit Control List (ECL) at this moment, the name of the petitioner in blacklist, if already placed, will not stop the petitioner from one-time visit to the UK from May 8 to July 3 for his medical check-up,” reads May 7 order passed by Justice Najafi on a petition of Shehbaz.

However, the immigration officials at Lahore airport had stopped Shehbaz from boarding a reserved flight on the pretext that his name was also included in Provincial National Identification List (PNIL), another category of no-fly list, which was not updated yet.

The application filed through Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar pleads that the excuse for not permitting the petitioner to proceed abroad was lame and false because a comprehensive mechanism as to updating of Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) placing or removal of names in the stop lists functions round the clock.

It argues that the respondents with a mala fide intention deliberately disobeyed and defied the court order. The application asks the court to get its order implemented.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2021

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