LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday extended the interim bail granted to the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif till July 7 in a money-laundering and assets beyond means case.
The extension was issued by LHC’s two-member bench chaired by Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem.
The court also extended the deadline for the PML-N president to submit his surety bond till July 7. It further directed him to have his coronavirus test done on July 2 from the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Lahore.
It asked the institute’s director to submit the Opposition leader’s test reports to the court.
He submitted his petition in connection with the ongoing money-laundering case against him. He also filed a miscellaneous petition, 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. He also submitted surety bonds worth Rs500,000 following approval of the interim bail.
The PML-N leader was supposed to sign the bonds himself, but was unable to do so as he contracted the deadly coronavirus. He told the court that the doctors at the Mayo Hospital and Ittefaq Hospital had advised him to take rest for another three weeks.
The certificates from the medical facilities were attached with the petition.
The LHC also heard another petition of Shehbaz, in which he sought permission from the court to excuse him from appearing personally in the case.
During today’s hearing, the court asked if the former Punjab chief minister had filed a new application.
To this, Shehbaz’s counsel told the court that his client wished to be excused from appearing in the court and that the PML-N leader was a cancer patient, whose recovery was slow.
“Shehbaz Sharif is in isolation due to coronavirus. Despite the passage of 14 days, Shehbaz Sharif still has symptoms of the coronavirus,” the lawyer said.
“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 when he put forward the argument regarding Shehbaz’s isolation.
To this, the lawyer told the court that his client was supposed to come to the LHC and sign the surety bonds but he tested positive for the virus. He added Shehbaz’s medical record was included 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, the 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.