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LHC CJ forms a three-member bench to decide Shehbaz’s bail

LAHORE: Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) Muhammad Qasim Khan has formed a three-member full-court bench to hear the bail plea of PMLN president Shehbaz Sharif.

The bench would be headed by Justice Ali Baqir Naji, while Justice Aalia Neelam and Justice Shahbaz Rizvi would be the member of the bench.

This comes as the Judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) bench came up with a split decision on Sharif’s release on bail.

Justice Sarfraz Dogar, who headed the bench, allowed the petition while its other member Justice Asjad Javed Ghural dismissed the same on merits. In his dissenting order, Justice Ghural also accused the senior judge of issuing the bail granting short order ‘unilaterally’.

In a dissenting note, Justice Asjad Javed Ghural said that he had asked the court to reject bail. He also hinted at rejecting bail in the chamber, but the co-judge announced the acceptance of bail on his own. Despite my clear refusal, the matter was brought to the notice of the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court in a few minutes, he added.

“This is a very unfortunate and rare example in the judicial history, which could not be expected from a senior member heading the division bench,” said the dissenting judge.

On Friday, the release of Pakistan Muslim League (N) President Shehbaz Sharif was postponed as the Lahore High Court did not issue the written judgment of the money-laundering case.

Both the aforesaid judges are yet to forward their own judgments to LHC chief justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, where a third judge will be nominated, who will decide the matter after reading the independent judgments of both the judges.

Previously, the Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted bail to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in the assets beyond means case.

Shehbaz had approached the high court against his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the corruption reference also involving his family members.

A two-member bench of the LHC announced their decision after hearing arguments from Sharif’s and NAB’s counsels.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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