Maryam recovers her passport in a corruption case

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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz has won a legal bid to recover her passport handed over to the Lahore High Court in 2019 as she sought bail in the corruption case of Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM).

While hearing a motion by Nawaz for the recovery of the travel document, a full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered its Deputy Registrar for Judicial Affairs to return the passport to the de facto boss of the PML-N.

The bench was headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and included Justices Ali Baqar Najafi and Tariq Saleem Sheikh.

The development comes less than a week after the Islamabad High Court overturned the conviction of Nawaz and her husband, retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, in the Avenfield House flats case.

At the previous hearing on September 27, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the High Court that it did not need Nawaz’s passport. Nor does she dispute the assertion made in her petition regarding the judgments of the Supreme Court in which it was held that the registration of criminal cases could not deprive a citizen of the exercise of his constitutional rights.

At Monday’s hearing, an assistant attorney general representing Islamabad and an NAB lawyer told the court that neither the federal government nor the dirty money watchdog had any objection to returning the passport.

The reference primarily accused Nawaz of being involved in money laundering under the guise of selling and buying the sugar mills’ shares. He said she became the Factories’ largest shareholder in 2008, holding more than 12 million shares and her assets were deemed disproportionate to her income.

He said the unit was transferred from Gojra to Rahim Yar Khan in 2015 at a cost of 1.5 billion rupees and that amount had so far not been justified by the suspects.

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