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April 1, 2020

Hamza’s bail plea adjourned

Lahore

April 1, 2020

LAHORE:A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday asked the legal counsel of Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz to explain as to how petition of his client seeking post-arrest bail on the basis of coronavirus threat was maintainable since the Supreme Court had already suspended release of prisoners in wake of the pandemic.

Advocate Amjad Pervez was persuading the bench to release the petitioner on bail for being vulnerable to the pandemic in the jail when its head Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem questioned the competency of the petition. The judge observed that the Supreme Court recently suspended decisions by all high courts regarding release of the prisoners of certain categories to avoid spread of Covid-19 pandemic in jails of the country. “Tell us how this petition is maintainable after the decision of Supreme Court,” the judge asked the counsel.

The lawyer sought adjournment saying he will be able to assist the bench on the point after going through the decision passed by the apex court. At this, the bench adjourned hearing until April 7.

Hamza had moved second petition for post-arrest bail in illegal assets/money laundering case on a fresh ground of being vulnerable to coronavirus pandemic in prison. Last month, the LHC had denied him bail in this case on merit; however, granted relief of bail in another case of Ramzan Sugar Mills.

The new petition refers to media reports about confirmed cases of Covid-19 in prisons of the province. It pleaded that the petitioner being in the jail was highly vulnerable to the pandemic. It said the LHC chief justice also issued an administrative order for filing of bail petitions on behalf of the prisoners and their decisions on priority in view of the growing cases of the coronavirus. It asked the court to release the petitioner on bail.