Tuesday, April 19, 2022

IHC dismisses petition against issuing diplomatic passport to Nawaz Sharif

IHC states petition was based on unreliable material, slaps fine of Rs5,000 on petitioner

Islamabad High Court. — IHC website
Islamabad High Court. — IHC website

  • IHC rejects plea seeking to stop potential issuance of diplomatic passport to Nawaz Sharif. 
  • IHC states petition based on unreliable material. 
  • IHC CJ Athar Minallah slaps fine of Rs5,000 on petitioner. 

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition seeking to stop the potential issuance of a diplomatic passport to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. 

The IHC stated that the petition was based on unreliable material and said that it was frivolous. Disposing of the petition, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah slapped a fine of Rs5,000 on the petitioner as the counsel was engaged at state expense.

Advocate Naeem Haider Panjutha had filed a petition in the IHC on Thursday referring to media reports that said Nawaz was being issued a diplomatic passport on the instructions of newly elected Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, claiming that the instructions for the issuance of the diplomatic passport were given to the interior and foreign affairs secretaries.

The petitioner contended that as Nawaz is a court absconder who was convicted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for corruption and it is violative of law, a mockery of the justice system and a disgrace to the nation if a diplomatic passport is issued to a convict.

During the hearing on Monday, Justice Minallah asked the petitioner’s counsel which order of the federal government was he challenging. The court cannot give a verdict in the air, the CJ added.

“Where has the order been issued and who has issued an order that you are challenging. Why should the court not reject your application with a penalty,” the CJ asked. Justice Minallah further remarked that there were laws related to dealing with absconders adding that the law must take its own course.

“There are many other issues. Why did you bring this issue unnecessarily to the court,” the CJ inquired. The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the news was circulating in the media. “We also consider the dignity of the court,” the counsel said.

“If given time we will try to get the order from the government,” the counsel further said. In its order on Monday, the court noted that the petitioner could not show any order, direction or notification issued by the federal government to substantiate his claim.

It is noted that no evidentiary value is attached to the press reports and no reliance can be placed on it when a person claims a legal right on its basis. It is settled law that courts do not decide cases on the basis of press reports, the IHC chief justice observed.