CJ IHC Athar Minallah dismisses petition against potential issuance of diplomatic passport to Nawaz Sharif
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition asking the court to stop the expected issuance of a diplomatic passport to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, stating that the petition “is based on unreliable material and is, therefore, frivolous”.
Advocate Naeem Haider Panjutha, had filed a petition in the IHC on Thursday, referring to media reports that said Nawaz was being issued a diplomatic passport on the instructions of newly elected Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif — also his sibling. The petitioner claimed that the instructions for the issuance of the diplomatic passport were given to the interior and foreign affairs secretaries.
The petitioner contended that as Nawaz “is a court absconder who was convicted by learned NAB (National Accountability Bureau) Court for corruption … it is violative of law, a mockery of the justice system and disgrace to the nation if a diplomatic passport is issued to a convict”.
During the hearing on Monday, the IHC chief justice asked the petitioner’s counsel what order of the federal government’s was he challenging. “The court cannot give a verdict in the air,” the CJ added.
“Where has the order been issued and who has issued an order that you are challenging? Why not reject your application with a penalty?” the CJ asked.
Justice Minallah further remarked that there were laws related to dealing with absconders, adding that the law must take its own course.
“There are many other issues. Why did you bring this issue unnecessarily?” the CJ inquired.
The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the news was circulating in the media. “We also consider the dignity of the court,” the counsel said.
“If given time, we will try to get the order from the government,” the counsel further said.
In its order on Monday, the court noted that the petitioner could not show any order, direction or notification issued by the federal government to substantiate his claim.
“It is noted that no evidentiary value is attached to the press reports and no reliance can be placed on it when a person claims a legal right on its basis. It is settled law that courts do not decide cases on the basis of press reports,” the IHC chief justice observed.
The chief justice disposed of the petition after slapping a Rs5,000 fine on the petitioner on account of counsels engaged during the hearing at state expense.