The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday that it did not require PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s passport that she had surrendered to the court for getting bail in a case.

The accountability watchdog had previously opposed the petition seeking the return of Maryam’s passport, which she had surrendered to the court when post-arrest bail was granted to her in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

However, the bureau conveyed to the court today that it no longer needed the PML-N leader’s passport. The anti-graft watchdog submitted the reply to a full bench, which was constituted earlier this month after several judges recused themselves from hearing Maryam’s plea.

The bench was headed by LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and comprised Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh.

The bench had sought the NAB’s reply in the case at the last hearing after Maryam’s counsel had contended that she had remained in the burea’s custody for 48 days but the anti-graft watchdog had failed to complete the investigation or file a reference before the trial court despite.

He had also argued that Maryam willingly returned to Pakistan from the United Kingdom to serve her sentence in other NAB cases and had asked the court to return her passport so she could visit her ailing father, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, in London.

During today’s hearing, Maryam’s counsel, Advocate Amjad Pervez, failed to appear before the court, with LHC CJ Bhatti expressing anger over his absence.

Advocate Pervez’s subordinate lawyer informed the court that he was at another court. “I have informed him. He will be arriving soon,” the junior lawyer told the LHC bench.

Irked by this, Justice Bhatti questioned whether Advocate Pervez did not know which court he was supposed to appear before first.

The court then adjourned the hearing on Maryam’s plea till October 3.

Maryam’s plea

In her petition, Maryam contended that it was a known fact that her father, Nawaz, was allowed to go abroad on account of his critical health condition.

She claimed that her father had not regained his health so far as he was still undergoing diagnosis process as per a medical report filed in the court, duly attested by the Pakistan High Commission in London.

She submitted that despite absence of any charge sheet against her or trial, she had not been able to exercise her fundamental rights for about four years on account of surrendering her passport in compliance with the court order.

The PML-N leader pleaded that she was in dire need to go abroad to attend to and inquire after her ailing father. She asked the court to direct the deputy registrar (judicial) to return her passport in the interest of justice.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s firm stance
05 Feb, 2023

IMF’s firm stance

THE IMF mission has been in Islamabad since Jan 31 to complete the stalled technical and policy-level talks aimed at...
Grotesque bigotry
05 Feb, 2023

Grotesque bigotry

FREEDOM to profess one’s faith is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, for the country’s Ahmadi...
Kashmir reflections
05 Feb, 2023

Kashmir reflections

ASIDE from Kashmir Day, which the nation is observing today as an official holiday, there are a number of other days...
Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...