LAHORE: A Lahore High Court two-judge bench on Thursday sent a petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz seeking the return of her passport to the chief justice as one of its members recused himself from the matter.

The petition came for hearing before the bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq Pannun.

Ms Nawaz’s counsel Amjad Pervez was present in the court, however, Justice Pannun recused himself from the petition for personal reasons.

At this, the bench referred the petition to the chief justice with a request to place it before any other appropriate bench for the hearing.

In April Justice Farooq Haider and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural, being members of the division bench headed by Justice Najafi, had recused themselves from the petition of Ms Nawaz.

Before that, another bench comprising Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi and Justice Anwarul Haq Pannun referred the petition back to the chief justice with an observation that a bench headed by Justice Najafi should hear it for the same had granted bail to the petitioner.

Through a fresh civil miscellaneous filed with her pending writ petition, Ms Nawaz contends that it was a known fact that her father was allowed to go abroad on account of his critical health condition. She said her father had not regained his health so far as he was still undergoing the diagnosis process as per a medical report filed with the court after duly attested by the Pakistan High Commission in London.

The petitioner submitted that in the absence of any charge sheet or trial, she had not been able to exercise her fundamental rights for the last about four years on account of surrendering her passport in compliance with the court order.

The PML-N leader pleaded that she was in dire need to go abroad to attend to and inquire after the health of her ailing father.

She asked the court to direct the deputy registrar (judicial) to return her passport in the interest of justice.

Earlier, the NAB had opposed the petition and return of passport to Ms Nawaz, which she had surrendered to the court when post-arrest bail was granted to her in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. It said the brothers of the petitioner and other family members were already in London to look after her father.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2022

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