Thursday Mar 11 2021

PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari booted from court for speaking to Shahbaz Sharif

PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif. Photo: Files

  • PML-N's Uzma Bukhari approached Shahbaz Sharif to inform him about the situation outside the court.
  • The move irked the presiding judge, who told her to leave the courtroom.
  • Judge later explained he asked Bukhari to leave "as coronavirus is spreading in the country once again".

LAHORE: Accountability Court Judge Amjad Nazir Chaudhry, who was hearing the Ramazan Sugar Mills reference on Thursday, booted PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari from his courtroom after she approached Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif to speak to him while the court was still in session.

The PML-N leader said she had approached her party president to inform him about the situation outside the court.

However, upon seeing her, Judge Chaudhry asked: “Madam, who are you?”

At this Bukhari looked at the judge and told him that she was a lawyer.

Read more: PML-N's Azma Bukhari steps down, says 2018 election 'designed by known, unknown creatures'

“Madam, please leave. Only the lawyer of the accused will stand here,” the judge had responded. 

He added that the PML-N leader needs to understand that the coronavirus is spreading in the country once again, suggesting that her presence was a health concern.

Upon hearing the reprimand, Bukhari left the courtroom.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Bukhari claimed the judge "did not like" that she was speaking to Shahbaz Sharif.

The PML-N leader claimed that when the judge asked her to leave, she told him that it was an open court and the country was not under “martial law”.

Read more: PML-N's Azma Bukhari lambastes Chohan for obsession with Maryam Nawaz's shoes

“Shahbaz Sharif is not appearing before a martial law court,” Bukhari narrated to the media.

The PML-N leader claimed the judge had known she was a lawyer, adding that she left the court as she had a case pending before the same judge and acted out of respect.

She also claimed she would have argued further with the judge and told him that he cannot do this in an open court.

“Telling a lawyer to leave an open court without any reason leaves a big question mark,” said Bukhari.

Hamza Shahbaz’s fingerprints sent to forensics

Earlier, during the hearing, Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza appeared before the court and recorded their attendance before the judge.

The judge asked Hamza whether he had submitted any of his fingerprints after bring released from jail on bail.

To this, Hamza responded in the affirmative, after which the court directed him to provide his fingerprints on a piece of paper. Once this was done, the court sent the fingerprints to a forensics lab for verification. 

Apart from this, the court recorded the statement of one NAB witness while the other's cross-examination was completed duting today's hearing. 

The court after hearing the witnesses adjourned the hearing of the case till March 25.

The father-son duo were indicted by an Accountability Court in the Ramzan Sugar Mills reference last year.

Read more: Court indicts Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills case

Both the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

The reference was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in February 2019 against the two on the allegation that the former chief minister of Punjab had misused his authority by using public funds for the construction of a bridge to facilitate the Ramzan Sugar Mills, which are owned by his sons.