Lahore High Court's (LHC) division bench headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar has set aside a trial court’s order passed against Nusrat Shehbaz, wife of Mian Shehbaz Sharif, after her counsel admitted three conditions set by the NAB.
Petitioner Nusrat Shehbaz had challenged NAB court’s order in LHC wherein her application seeking exemption from personal appearance was dismissed, arrest warrants were issued and proceedings commenced which had been started to declare her as proclaimed offender.
Once the proceedings started today, the NAB special prosecutor Syed Faisal Raza Bukhari argued that NAB has no objection if NAB’s three conditions are admitted.
"Which conditions you are talking about?" the bench remarked.
“The pleader will ensure his presence on each proceeding of the court, Nusrat Shehbaz will be informed about each proceeding by the pleader and Nusrat Shehbaz will join the proceedings after her health is good”, expressed Bukhari.
If said conditions are admitted, NAB has no objection if this petition is admitted, the NAB prosecutor argued.
Nusrat Shehbaz’s counsel implored the court that they have no objection over these conditions.
Petitioner Nusrat Shehbaz contended that the prosecution's story against the petitioner was false, that she was the benamidar owner of various properties on behalf of her husband Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and she aided and abetted her husband in the commission of an offence of assets beyond means and money laundering.
He added that the petitioner is about 66 years of age, she is a known chronic patient of a number of serious ailments. She had to go abroad (United Kingdom) during April 2019 for her medical treatment and since then she was stuck there for her medical treatment.
In pursuance of knowledge regarding issuance of non-bailable warrants of arrest against the petitioner to procure her attendance, the petitioner filed an application to seek exemption from personal appearance under sections 75, 205 and 540-A Cr.P.C read with enabling provisions of NAO 1999.
Her application was attested by the High Commission for Pakistan London. Her application was also duly supported by notarized and attested copies of Medical Certificates/opinions by qualified consultants clearly depicting that the petitioner was not fit for any air or long-distance travel being chair and housebound. Finally, her application was dismissed on November 2, 2020.
She contended that the impugned order proceeds upon the sole premise that the respondent Bureau (NAB) sought petitioner’s presence to answer a number of questions vide call up notices and the petitioner seemingly fled away to circumvent the investigation whereas the fact of the matter is that the petitioner had already proceeded abroad during January 2019 much before the issuance of any call-up notice and authorization of investigation. Hence, the premise made basis for dismissal of application is factually incorrect on the face of the record.
She prayed the court that the impugned order of November 2, 2020 may kindly be declared as illegal and without lawful authority. And further proceedings in pursuance thereof be kindly set-aside.
Above said application under section 75, 205 and 540-A Cr.P.C. be kindly allowed in the interest of justice.