The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition asking the court to stop the expected issuance of a diplomatic passport to PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, stating that the petition "is based on unreliable material and is, therefore, frivolous".

Advocate Naeem Haider Panjutha, had filed a petition in the IHC on Thursday, referring to media reports that said Nawaz was being issued a diplomatic passport on the instructions of newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — also his sibling. The petitioner claimed that the instructions for the issuance of the diplomatic passport were given to the interior and foreign affairs secretaries.

The petitioner contended that as Nawaz "is a court absconder who was convicted by learned NAB (National Accountability Bureau) Court for corruption ... it is violative of law, a mockery of the justice system and disgrace to the nation if a diplomatic passport is issued to a convict".

In its order today, the court noted that the petitioner could not show any order, direction or notification issued by the federal government to substantiate his claim.

"It is noted that no evidentiary value is attached to the press reports and no reliance can be placed on it when a person claims a legal right on its basis. It is settled law that courts do not decide cases on the basis of press reports," the IHC chief justice observed.

The chief justice disposed of the petition after slapping a Rs5,000 fine on the petitioner on account of counsels engaged during the hearing at state expense.

In August last year, Nawaz had filed an appeal with the British Immigration Tribunal after the Home Department refused to extend his stay in the country on “medical grounds” any further.

Nawaz can legally remain in the UK till the tribunal issues its decision on his plea for his stay in the country. His passport had expired in February 2021.

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