The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday extended the bail granted to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif till July 7 in a money laundering and assets beyond means case.
The extension was ordered by LHC’s two-member bench chaired by Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem. The court also extended the deadline for the former Punjab chief minister to submit his surety bond till July 7.
The court also directed Shehbaz to get his coronavirus test done on July 2 from the Institute of Public Health in Lahore, and asked the director of the institute to submit the test reports of the opposition leader to the court.
Petition for excuse from hearing
The LHC also heard another petition of Shehbaz in which he was seeking the court to excuse him from appearing personally in the case.
During today’s hearing, the court asked if Shehbaz Sharif had filed a new application.
To this, Shehbaz’s counsel told the court that his client wants to be excused from appearing in the court, adding that the PML-N president was a cancer patient and his recovery is slow.
“Shehbaz Sharif is in isolation due to coronavirus. Despite the passage of 14 days Shehbaz Sharif still has symptoms of the coronavirus,” said the lawyer.
“After the approval of bail there were seven days, why were the surety bonds not signed in those seven days?” the court asked the lawyer, who told the court that his client was supposed to come to LHC and sign the surety bonds but he tested positive for the virus. He added that they have included Shehbaz’s medical record in the petition.
“If Shehbaz Sharif did not get his tests done, then how can we say that he is a coronavirus patient,” the court asked the lawyer.
At this, NAB’s legal counsel also intervened and told the court that Shehbaz was supposed to get his tests done on June 25 but it was not done.
“This way Shehbaz Sharif will keep on asking for the time,” said the lawyer. He added that if the court excuses Shehbaz from appearing and hear the arguments.
Shahbaz Sharif had submitted a request for an interim bail to the LHC after he was advised rest for another three weeks.
He submitted his petition in connection with the ongoing money-laundering case against him. He also filed a miscellaneous application, requesting to be excused from personal appearance on the next hearing.
According to the petition, an interim bail has already been granted by the LHC in the cases of assets beyond means and money-laundering.
The PML-N president also submitted surety bonds worth Rs500,000 following approval of the interim bail. He was supposed to sign the bonds himself, but was unable to do so as he contracted the coronavirus.
The PML-N leader told the court that the doctors at the Mayo Hospital and Ittefaq Hospital had advised the former Punjab chief minister to take rest for another three weeks.
The certificates from the medical facilities were attached to the petition.