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Govt withdraws appeal against LHC’s order allowing Shehbaz to travel abroad

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court disposed of the appeal as the federal government on Wednesday withdrew its petition against the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision allowing PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad.

The LHC had granted “one-time” permission to Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad on medical grounds, after which the government moved the Supreme Court to have the decision declared null and void.

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan withdrew the appeal after Shehbaz Sharif assured that he would not pursue the application filed in the LHC seeking contempt of court against the government for not allowing him to fly out of the country.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, presided over the hearing. When the hearing resumed, the LHC’s registrar presented the record of the case before the bench. He informed the court that the case was heard in one day after the reservations were dismissed.

The presiding judge asked if Shehbaz Sharif’s case heard as per the usual system or through a special process. The registrar replied that the LHC decided to hear the government’s reservations and Sharif’s petition the same day.

The judge remarked that the LHC had not even inquired as to which list Sharif’s name had been included and how “one-sided” relief was provided. The court remarked that the manner in which Shehbaz Sharif was provided relief in the case cannot become a precedent.

Later, the government decided to withdraw its appeal against the LHC’s decision after Sharif’s lawyer assured the apex court he would not pursue contempt of court proceedings against institutions for not letting him go abroad.

The attorney general informed the court that the government had not made any accusations in its appeal against the LHC’s verdict. He expressed concern that the LHC’s decision would set a precedence for future cases as well.

After the LHC verdict was announced last month, the PML-N president went to the airport on May 8 to travel abroad but was not allowed to board the plane by immigration authorities as his name was on the no-fly list.