The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered to return the passport of the party’s vice president Maryam Nawaz that she had surrendered for getting bail in a corruption reference in 2019.

The PML-N vice president had approached the LHC against the anti-graft body saying despite absence of any charge sheet against her or trial, she had not been able to exercise her fundamental rights for about four years.

She had pleaded that she was in dire need to go abroad to attend to and inquire after her ailing father, requesting the court to direct the deputy registrar (judicial) to return her passport in the interest of justice.

Maryam Nawaz had surrendered her passport to the court when post-arrest bail was granted to her in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

A three-member bench of the LHC headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and comprised Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh heard the case today.

During the last hearing, the NAB had told the court that it no longer needed Maryam Nawaz’s passport, clearing the way for her passport to be returned.

Today’s hearing

During the hearing, the high court inquired about the previous applications filed by the PML-N leader. At this, Maryam Nawaz’s counsel Advocate Amjad Pervez said that they have become ineffective in light of the current application.

Parvez argued before the court that her client was given bail after she surrendered her passport.

“It has been four years that no reference has been filed in regard with Chaudhry Sugar Mills case,” he said, adding the situation would have been different had the NAB filed a reference against her.

Advocate Parvez said that delaying a case is equal to misusing a law. “The courts close cases due to long delays without deciding on merit,” he added.

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