LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday conditionally allowed Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical check-up.
The court allowed Shehbaz one-time visit to United Kingdom from May 8 to July 5 for medical check-up, besides seeking reply from respondents.
Justice Ali Baqar Najafi passed the orders on a petition filed by Shehbaz for removing his name from blacklist.
The court had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the parties earlier.
Advocate Amjad Pervaiz on behalf of Shehbaz argued before the court that his client was arrested in connection with Ashiana and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases in 2018 but he got bail in February 2019. However, his name was put on exit control list and it was removed on direction of the LHC, he added.
He submitted that Shehbaz was scheduled to visit consultant in connection with his treatment in London but his name had been put on the blacklist.
He argued that step of putting his client’s name on the blacklist was illegal as he had not been served any notice.
At this, the court questioned a deputy attorney general whether name of Shehbaz had been put on blacklist.
To this, he stated that he could not assist the court without taking instructions from the concerned quarters.
The court directed the law officer for taking instructions from concerned quarters and adjourned hearing for short time.
Later, the law officer stated that he could not get instructions as the office hours had finished. He pleaded with the court for fixing the matter after Eid holidays.
However, the court adjourned further hearing till 2.00pm and summoned Shehbaz.
As the proceedings started again, Shehbaz appeared before the court.
At this stage, the law officer submitted that Shehbaz had not pointed out any emergency in his plea. He submitted that Shehbaz claimed of developing many top class health facilities, therefore, he should get himself treated from said facilities.
But Justice Najafi questioned what are the reservations of federal government over departure of Shehbaz.
The court addressed the law officer and questioned whether he thinks that Shehbaz would not return or the government needed any guarantee. He remarked that the petitioner had gone abroad and then came back in past.
However, the law officer submitted that he needed some time for consultation as officials had gone due to long holidays. The law officer also read out affidavit given by Shehbaz while leaving with Nawaz Sharif to London earlier. He also pointed that Shehbaz was main accused of money laundering case and the trial court was recording statements of witnesses in the case.
At this, the court questioned whether trial court proceedings would be affected if Shehbaz was allowed to go abroad.
The court questioned Shehbaz about emergency of going abroad.
Shehbaz submitted that he was a cancer survivor and he received treatment from New York and London for it. “I have been advised regular check-up from Dr Martin but it was suspended for some time as I was behind the bars,” he added.
He submitted that he needed urgent treatment in the light of tests conducted in jail. Shehbaz assured that he would return immediately on completion of treatment.
Advocate Amjad Pervaiz also submitted return ticket of Shehbaz for July 3.
Subsequently, the court reserved its verdict on the petition on completion of arguments of parties.
Later, the court conditionally allowed Shehbaz to travel abroad in view of assurance given by him and also sought reply from respondents till July 5.
Talking to reporters in Lahore, the PML-N president said that by the Grace of Allah, he was released with dignity and on merit. “Being in court in this scorching heat raises my spirits”, he added.
He said that all Prime Minister Imran does is pin the opposition against the wall, and added, “The first time I was out on production order in the National Assembly, I called out the NAB-Niazi nexus, which time later proved. Bashir Memon confirmed my statement on the NAB-Niazi nexus.”
Shehbaz said that if the government was focused on the public and the nation, the situation would have been different.
“If Imran Khan felt the pain of the public, he would use all possible resources to acquire vaccines. We went all out to eradicate dengue during our tenure. After Fajr prayers, we used to get standing water extracted from houses and roads and sprayed anti-dengue spray in the city,” he said.