Monday December 04, 2023

Maryam passport case: LHC issues notice to NAB

By Our Correspondent
September 15, 2022

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on a petition moved by PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz seeking return of her passport.

The court has sought a response from the NAB by September 27. The LHC had constituted a three-member bench to hear the petition filed by PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz seeking the return of her passport.

The members of the full bench headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, including Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, heard the case.

Maryam Nawaz, through her counsel Amjad Parvez, had moved a fresh petition, arguing that in 2019, the NAB had forced her to surrender passport in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, feaing that she would flee the country.

The counsel argued that his client was granted bail after she surrendered her passport, however, despite passing four years, no reference has been filed in the case. The counsel said that the retention of the passport for an indefinite period is tantamount to the violation of fundamental rights of treatment in accordance with the law, such as life, liberty, right of movement and equal protection of the law.

He further said that on August 8, 2019, when his client visited her father at the Central Jail Lahore, she was arrested in an inquiry initiated by the NAB and barred from completing her visit, adding that his client’s physical custody was remanded to an investigating officer for 48 days after being sent to judicial lockup. After which, his client was granted post-arrest bail on merit by the LHC, the counsel added.

The petition said that as per the “settled principles of administration of criminal justice system and also the fundamental rights due process and fair trial guaranteed by the Article 10-A of the Constitution, a presumption of innocence is imperative and even the under trial accused does not lose fundamental rights of treatment.”