LHC Sets Aside Govt's Condition Of Indemnity Bond For Nawaz Sharif To Travel To London


LHC sets aside govt's condition of indemnity bond for Nawaz Sharif to travel to London

The court grants four-week time to Nawaz Sharif for treatment in London, observes the time could be expanded if he could not get well soon.

LAHORE: (Urdu Point/Pakistan Point News-Nov 16th, 2019) The Lahore high Court on Saturday said set aside the Federal government's condition of indemnity bond for former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and allowed him four-week time for medical treatment in London.

A two-member bench led by Justice Ali Baqir Najfi passed the order on petition moved by PML-N's President Shehbaz Sharif against government's condition of indemnity bond for Nawaz sharif to go to London for medical treatment.

The court directed the federal government to remove the name of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from Exit Control List (ECL).

"A big victory for PML-N workers," said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

There was jubilent among the PML-N workers. Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the N-league were present there at the premises of the court.

Earlier, the draft prepared by the LHC on the matter in question recommended four-week time to Nawaz Sharif for treatment in London and if he could not well during the given time then the time limit could be expanded. The draft said that the representative of the government would contact Nawaz Sharif through Pakistan's Embassy in the UK.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif against name of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif on Exit Control List (ECL). Justice Sardar Ahmad Naem is the other member of the bench.

During the hearing, the federal law officer once again said that if the sharif family was not willing to submit its indemnity bond to the government then it could submit to the court. At this, Justice Najfi observed that the court would decide the condition of the government regarding submission of indemnity bond. The law officer said that the federal government would form a board for checkup of Nawaz Sharif in London if he got well there. He said the board would determine whether Nawaz Sharif could travel or not.

At this, the court observed that it would draft its own undertaking for Nawaz Sharif and adjourned the hearing while the next date of hearing is in the office.

Shehbaz Sharif submitted a hand written two-page affidavit before the LHC division bench through his counsel Amjad Pervez. The draft said that Nawaz Sharif was going to London after doctors' recommendations for his medical treatment three and would soon be back after his recovery.

Shehbaz Sharif through his affidavit also said that Nawaz Sharif would come back and would face all his cases in different courts.

However, the federal government objected to the affidavit of Shehbaz Sharif saying that how he could be sent abroad on the basis of this affidavit.
"We reject this affidavit of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif," said an additional attorney general. He told the bench that the objections on the affidavit would be filed later before the court.

During the proceedings, Ata Ullah Tarar contacted Maryam Nawaz and informed her about the case. Shehbaz Sharif personally appeared before the court along with the legal team while strict security arrangments were made on the occassion. It may be mentioned here that the Lahore High Court does not hear the cases on Saturday as the judges usually write thier judgments on this day but Nawaz Sharif's case was fixed for hearing on the same day. Earlier, the court asked Shehbaz Sharif that what role he would play to bring his brother Nawaz Sharif back and what kind of affidavit he wanted to submit. On it, the counsel of the petitioner said that they had been looking for a legal answer and the appeals against Al-Azizi and Flagship references have also been fixed for hearing.

At this, the court asked the law officer that look thier affidavit as they are coming up with their affidavit. The bench remarked: "This affidavit is coming from former three-time Prime Minister and a former Punjab Chief Minster. The court sought draft of the affidavit from the petitioner's counsel observing that they wanted to see the draft.

During the hearing, the court put seven questions to Advocate Amjad Pervez, the counsel for the petitioner. The court asked him whether the name of a convicted person could be removed from the ECL, whether one-side conditions could be set for removal of his (Nawaz) name, what will be the legal status of the case after suspension of the sentence and bail of the convict, whether the government could change its stance regarding the demand of surety bond for Nawaz Sharif, whether anything could be included or excluded from the memorandum, whether memorandum is issued on humanitarian grounds and whether the both sides could reduce the bonds' value.

The bench asked the counsel that what he would say about the surety bond to which the lawyer said that his client was present in the court and he should be given time for consultation. The court also asked that whether Nawaz Sharif himself wanted to submit anything in terms of his surety bond.

The federal law officer said that if the PML-N did not want to submit their surety bond before the government they could submit the same before the court. Nawaz Sharif, the law officer said, was seriously ill and he should go abroad for his treatment.
"We just want that they (PML-N) should satisfy the court," said the law officer who was representing the federal government.

On Thursday, Shehbaz Sharif approached the Lahore High Court saying that his brother Nawaz Sharif was seriously ill and he needed immediate treatment abroad. He said that the government's medical board had also recommended his treatment in London for his unstable platelets. He asked the court to declare the government's condition of submission of surety bond by Nawaz Sharif for removal of his name from the ECL as null and void and order his treatment abroad.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.