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November 14, 2019

Bail wisdom

Newspost

 
November 14, 2019

This refers to the letter ‘ECL rigmarole’ (Nov 13) by Shakir Lakhani and the news story ‘Seeking bonds from Nawaz unjustified: top lawyers’ (Nov 13). Zulfi Bukhari and Nawaz Sharif's cases are totally different. Nawaz Sharif is a convict in a corruption reference while Zulfi Bukhari was not. Under the constitution and the ECL rules, the government does not have the jurisdiction to remove the name of a convict from the ECL and allow him to travel abroad. There is no provision even in the statue book nor the courts have jurisdiction to allow bail to a convict for release from jail. The Islamabad High Court, in its greater wisdom, made an unprecedented exception and granted bail to Nawaz Sharif on health grounds. Courts have no jurisdiction and authority to invent laws or amend laws but are supposed to follow the constitution and the law of the land. Legislation is the exclusive domain of parliament.

Top lawyers rendering the legal opinion as per the above news item did not choose to mention their names. Had they done so, they would have stood embarrassed at their lack of knowledge of jurisprudence. The legitimate route for Nawaz Sharif to proceed abroad is to strike a plea bargain with NAB. This right is available to every corruption case convict. Neither the government nor the court can interfere or oppose such a move as it is a valid provision in the accountability law.

Erum A Baig

Karachi

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