LHC to announce verdict on Maryam Nawaz’s bail plea today

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) is set to announce the verdict on a bail plea filed by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case today.

A two-member bench of the high court comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem had reserved its verdict in the case on October 31 after both the petitioner and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had concluded their arguments.

The PML-N vice president had approached the high court on September 30 seeking post-arrest bail in the CSM case, in which she is suspected of money laundering.

Following the sudden deterioration in the health of her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, she then filed a miscellaneous petition on October 24 seeking immediate bail on the basis of fundamental rights and humanitarian reasons. On October 29, the Islamabad High Court suspended the former premier’s sentence in the Al Azizia case for eight weeks.

Before the court reserved its verdict on Maryam’s bail plea, NAB’s counsel Jahanzaib Bharwana had opposed her request for bail on humanitarian grounds and said: “It has been established by Supreme Court’s verdicts that a suspect can only be granted bail in extraordinary circumstances.

“Maryam Nawaz’s case does not qualify as an extraordinary one.”

Maryam and her cousin Yousuf Abbas were arrested by NAB on August 8 in the CSM case. Later, on September 25, they were sent to jail on judicial remand by an accountability court in Lahore.

The accountability watchdog suspects Maryam of involvement in money laundering through investments of variable heavy amounts being the main shareholder of the CSM. It has alleged that she was involved in money laundering with the help of some foreigners during the period of 1992-93, when Nawaz was the prime minister.

Maryam was convicted for abetment by an accountability court in the Avenfield corruption case and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Her sentence was later suspended by the Islamabad High Court as it was hearing a review appeal.