Wednesday May 19 2021

Lahore court seeks reply from govt on Shehbaz Sharif's contempt plea

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif

  • LHC hears PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif's contempt of court plea filed after he was stopped from travelling abroad.
  • Lahore court seeks replies from federal government, others by May 26.
  • On May 8, Shehbaz was to board a flight to Qatar when he was stopped by immigration officials at the Lahore airport.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court issued notices to the federal government and other parties, seeking a reply by May 26 on a petition against not allowing PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad despite the court's earlier orders.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard Shehbaz's petition on Wednesday.

The PML-N leader was represented Advocate Amjad Pervez and Azam Nazeer Tarar.

On May 8, Shehbaz, who is also the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, was to board a flight to Qatar when he was stopped by immigration officials at the Lahore airport.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif files contempt of court petition in LHC

He was told his name was still on a no-fly list titled, the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL). On Monday, the government also added his name to the Exit Control List (ECL), after it was removed by a court order in 2019.

In his petition, Shehbaz states that the LHC order which allowed him to leave the country one-time was announced on May 7 in front of the deputy attorney general and two Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials.

The above order had become a matter of public knowledge, he argued, as various representatives and federal ministers had discussed its contents on social media and during talk shows.

"Is this petition admissible after Shahbaz Sharif's name was added to the Exit Control List?" the court asked at the outset of the hearing on Wednesday.

Read more: Govt seeks early SC hearing against LHC decision to let Shahbaz fly abroad

The court asked of the petition is admissible after the interim order of the LHC was challenged in the Supreme Court.

Justice Najafi asked how can the interim order be implemented after Shehbaz's name appeared in ECL.

Lawyer Tarar suggested the court summon a reply from the government to provide clarity.

The court ordered the government's lawyer to check and tell the court whether Shehbaz's name is on the no-fly list or not.

The deputy attorney-general said Shehbaz is the leader of the Opposition and the president of a major political party.

Whenever anyone comes to this court, they come as a petitioner, Justice Najafi responded.

Read more: Shahbaz Sharif permitted to fly abroad for medical treatment

The deputy attorney-general said court orders had been implemented. He said Shehbaz had not submitted his court order to any concerned authorities.

"Shehbaz Sharif went straight to the airport and gave a court order to the staff," he said, adding that it was Shehbaz's responsibility to submit the court order to the relevant authorities.