Thursday February 02, 2023

Maryam’s passport not needed now, NAB tells LHC

September 28, 2022

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau told the Lahore High Court Tuesday that it did not require PMLN Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s passport that she had surrendered to the court for getting bail in a case related to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

The NAB in its reply submitted to the full bench of Lahore High Court conveyed that it no longer needed the PMLN leader’s passport. In Tuesday’s hearing, Maryam Nawaz’s counsel, Advocate Amjad Pervez, failed to appear before the court.

Advocate Pervez’s junior appeared before the court and informed the court that his senior was at another court and would appear before the court shortly. The court showed its dismay over this and remarked that the full bench had only this case and whether Advocate Pervez did not know which court he was supposed to appear first.

The court has adjourned the case until Oct 3. PMLN Vice-President Maryam Nawaz had approached the Lahore High Court seeking the return of her passport. Maryam had surrendered her passport to the LHC after she had been granted post-arrest bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills money-laundering case. Previously, she had moved the court in April, seeking return of her passport. However, she had withdrawn her petition after no less than four benches were formed to hear her petition due to judges recusing themselves from the case.

Maryam, through her counsel Amjad Pervez, moved the fresh petition, arguing that in 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had forced her to surrender her passport in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, fearing that she would flee the country.

The counsel argued that her client was granted bail after she surrendered her passport. Though four years had passed, no reference had been filed in the case. The counsel said the retention of the passport for an indefinite period was tantamount to violation of fundamental rights. He said his client was arrested in an inquiry initiated by the National Accountability Bureau on Aug 8, 2019, when she was visiting her father at the Central Jail Lahore.