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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday allowed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad for eight weeks for his medical treatment.

Earlier, Justice Ali Baqir Najfi heard the petition as objection case since registrar office had put an objection that the petitioner had not approach the concerned forum first.

Justice Ali Baqir asked the counsel of Shahbaz to place the notification under which the name of Shehbaz Sharif was put on the black list.

The counsel contended that the government previously placed him on the Exit Control List (ECL).

However, the LHC had suspended the government’s act and given him a one-time permission to travel to United Kingdom for medical checkup in 2019. They recently came to know that his name had been placed on the blacklist at the behest of the present regime. He said there is no provision in the Passports Act 1974 regarding the notion of blacklist, however, the federal government formulated the passport and visa manual 2006, which explicates the procedure and circumstances in which the name of a person can be blacklisted for passport facilities.

He said the authorities concerned refused to furnish the documents on the basis of which his name had been placed in the list and also added even law about the black list was not available to them.

Justice Ali Baqir at this observed, he will decide the objection raise by the office along with the merits of the petition and directed the office to place the petition again before him after enrolling it properly.

Shahbaz Sharif told the court that he is a cancer survivor and receiving medical treatment for last 15 years under the supervision of his doctors in London. He said is a law abiding person and had returned Pakistan as allowed by the court. He further contended that those sitting at the helms of affairs are aware about the severity of the health of the petitioner and have maliciously placed his name in the blacklist.

He said it is my right to go abroad for medical treatment but government illegally and without lawful authority placed his name in the black list. He, therefore, asked the court to declare the impugned act of the respondents illegal and without lawful authority and permit him to go abroad for the purpose of his medical treatment.

The court at this asked the prosecutor whether the name of Shahbaz is on blacklist or not. The prosecutor said he knows nothing about this and opposed the petition saying Shahbaz Sharif is the main accused in the money laundering case. He said all the proceedings before the trial courts would effect if Shahbaz would be allowed to go abroad. He asked the court to hear the petition again after Eid holidays and till then all the concerned departments would produce the concerned record.

The court after hearing both the sides at length allowed Shahbaz to go abroad for medical treatment for eight weeks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021