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LHC extends Shahbaz’s pre-arrest bail till 16th

National

July 8, 2020

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday allowed one-time exemption from personal appearance to NA Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif and extended his pre-arrest bail till July 16 in an assets beyond means investigation by the NAB.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, who headed a division bench, asked the counsel of Shahbaz about the absence of his client even after his Covid-19 test report came negative. Advocate Amjad Pervez, the counsel, said according to medical experts a patient of coronavirus could be declared fully recovered only after two consecutive negative reports. He said the petitioner has not yet fully recovered as he still shows some symptoms. The counsel asked the bench to adjourn the hearing for three weeks.

Justice Naeem reminded the counsel that he had also sought three-week adjournment on the previous hearing and now he is again making the same request. He noted that the NAB has already given its consent for permanent exemption to the petitioner if the court decides to hear arguments on the bail petition. Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, senior counsel of Shahbaz, said he would have concluded the arguments on the last the hearing if he could predict that the court will confirm the bail. He said some powers want to see the petitioner behind the bars.

Justice Naeem pointed out that Shahbaz had visited the high court for signing bail bonds few days ago. Tarar said the bench should praise the petitioner's gesture.

He said the NAB will not face any irreparable loss if the hearing of the bail petition is adjourned for three weeks. “We are not asking for attendance of the petitioner but the arguments of the counsel,” the judge said. However, Tarar pleaded giving at least two-week time to the petitioner. “It would make me confident if I present arguments in the presence of my client,” the counsel added. The bench allowed one-time exemption from personal appearance to the petitioner and extended the bail till next hearing.