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ISLAMABAD: The federal government, on Wednesday, withdrew an appeal against the Lahore High Court (LHC) order allowing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, heard the federation’s appeal.

The Court noted that since the writ petition has been withdrawn by Shehbaz Sharif; therefore, there is no live issue in the instant matter and disposed of the case.

It said the LHC interim order dated 24-05-2021 shall not be used as a precedent in any future proceedings.

The LHC on May 7 had granted conditional permission to the PML-N president to travel abroad for medical treatment.

However, when he was going abroad on May 9, he was stopped at the airport by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

On May 17, the Interior Ministry placed Shehbaz’s name on the Exit Control List.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan informed that Shehbaz Sharif has withdrawn the contempt petition against the federal government; therefore, it does not press its appeal against the LHC verdict. He, however, submitted that the case be disposed of with the observations that the LHC order dated 24-05-21, which was subsequently withdrawn will not be used as a precedent.

Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, representing Shehbaz Sharif, submitted his client is not interested in pursuing contempt proceedings in any forum for alleged violation of the order passed by the LHC on 07-05-2021. SC order observed that the counsel undertook that his client will not pursue directly or indirectly any contempt proceedings against the petitioners or any functionary of the petitioners before any forum for alleged violation of order dated 07-05-2021 passed by the LHC in writ petition.

The apex court said that its order shall, however, not prejudice the rights of either side, in case, they wish to challenge orders passed/proceedings initiated or notifications etc, issued subsequent to the present proceedings before the fora of competent jurisdiction.

The attorney general said that the LHC had transferred the Accountability Court judge, who was conducting the trial of Shehbaz Sharif.

Nazir Tarar said the government can appoint another judge in the Accountability Court.

The bench hoped that the presiding officers will be appointed expeditiously in the Accountability Courts where the seats are vacant, so that the cases are completed, expeditiously, with due diligence and without undue delay.

Earlier, Justice Sajjad inquired from Nazir Tarar whether your client still wanted to go abroad.

Justice Ijaz said the LHC judge did not grant time to the federation’s lawyer to submit a reply.

Registrar LHC informed that as per rule the Shehbaz Sharif application was fixed for removal of objections.

It was decided that the objections against the Registrar Office will be decided with the writ petition.

He said that the objections on the application were raised on 24-05-2021 at 09:30 and at 11:30 the petition was heard.

Justice Ijaz said the federation lawyer was granted 30 minutes to get instruction.

He inquired in the last one year, how many cases were heard on Friday at 12:00.

He said the court was also informed in how many cases relief was provided ex parte.

The judge noted that the High Court did not inquire whether Shehbaz Sharif’s name is on the black list.

Justice Ijaz further inquired from the LHC registrar whether such an interim order can be passed as it was done in the instant matter.

The Court directed registrar LHC to provide records of the order dated 25-05-2021 for their perusal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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