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April 22, 2021

Shahbaz’s bail case: Decision after going through facts, says LHC

Top Story

April 22, 2021

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench on Wednesday held its first hearing on the post-arrest bail petition of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif in a money-laundering reference by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). At the outset of the hearing, Shahbaz’ counsel Azam Nazir Tarar said it is unfortunate that a division bench previously allowed the bail petition and later issued a split decision. He said the website of the LHC showed the result of the petition as allowed for three days and on the fourth day, there was a changed decision. The counsel said he witnessed change in an announced decision for the first time in his 27 years of law practice.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, who was heading the full bench, asked the counsel to learn a lesson from what happened that lawyers should not inform a client about the result of any case before getting an attested copy of the order.

Tarar asked the bench not to hear the matter afresh and decide it simply by going through the two orders of the judges of the division bench. Justice Najafi observed that the bench needs to know the facts of the case to reach any decision. The bench would resume the hearing on Thursday (today) with the arguments of a NAB special prosecutor. Justice Alia Neelum and Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi are the other members of the full bench.

Last week, the division bench comprising Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural issued a split decision on the petition of Shahbaz, sending the matter to the chief justice for the nomination of a referee judge. Justice Dogar, the head of the bench, had allowed the petition while Justice Ghural dismissed the same on merit. In his dissenting note, Justice Ghural accused the senior judge of issuing the bail granting short order ‘unilaterally’.