LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday granted permission to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad on medical grounds.
A bench of the high court issued the verdict on a petition filed by Sharif seeking removal of his name from no-fly list.
The leader of the Opposition in National Assembly has been allowed to stay abroad for eight weeks while the court will again take up the case on July 5.
During the hearing, the government’s lawyer argued that Shehbaz Sharif should undergo medical checkup in Pakistan as the PML-N had been claiming that it uplifted the health sector during its tenure.
To which, the counsel for former Punjab chief minister said that his client is a cancer survivor and he needs to go to London for checkup with his doctor. He also informed the court that an air ticket has also been booked for May 8 (Saturday) as there are fears of flights’ cancellation due to deteriorating COVID-19 situation.
Assuring the court of Shehbaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan, he said that his client had come back from London when he went there after getting bail in Ashiana Housing and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.
The petitioner further argued that every citizen has right to go abroad for his treatment.
After hearing the arguments, the court granted permission to Shehbaz Sharif for eight weeks.
Last month, Shehbaz Sharif was released from Kot Lakhpat Jail nearly after seven months detention.
His son Hamza Shehbaz, the leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly, and a number of party workers were present outside the jail to receive Sharif, who was granted bail a day before by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in a money laundering case.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, had issued a unanimous verdict, granting him bail against surety bonds worth Rs5 million.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz has welcomed the decision in a twitter post, adding that service rendered by the PML-N cannot be eroded by fake cases.
During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that members of Shahbaz Sharif’s family are nominated in the case.
He added that Suleman Shehbaz, Nusrat Shahbaz, Rabia Imran, Haroon Yousuf, Syed Tahir Naqvi and Ali Hamid are absconding in the case as they failed to appear before the team despite issuance of summons to them.
Talking about assets of former Punjab chief minister, the NAB lawyer said that Shehbaz held assets to tune of Rs2.1 million in 1990 and they had risen to Rs10.48 million.
Bukhari further said that the opposition leader showed assets of Rs7.32 billion in 2018 and all the assets were made after 2005.
He also shared details of funds received by members of Sharif family through TTs.
After the NAB prosecutor concluded his arguments, Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz said that the anti-graft buster had nominated the members of his client’s family with malafide intentions.
He said that the honourable court is hearing case of bail but the NAB lawyer had provided details of money laundering.
The three-member bench after hearing the arguments issued bail to the opposition leader.
NAB arrested Shehbaz on September 28, 2020 in the money laundering reference after the LHC refused to extend his pre-arrest bail last year. He was first granted interim pre-arrest bail last year on June 3.