The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday dissolved its two-member bench hearing pleas filed by PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz seeking the court to return her passport and to order the government to take her name off the Exit Control List (ECL) to travel abroad.

The court has formed a new bench comprising of Justice Ali Baqir Najfi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh to initiate hearings of the plea from February 10.

Earlier, a two-member bench headed by Justice Tariq Abbasi had heard Maryam’s petitions but there was no significant progress could be made.

Maryam has filed separate pleas for withdrawal of her name from the ECL and return of her passport, however, the NAB has already opposed those requests.

Justice Najafi had previously heard those pleas, but when the bench was dissolved, the requests were transferred to another bench. Justice Najafi will once again hear those pleas.

In November, Maryam was granted bail by the LHC in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case against two surety bonds worth Rs10 million and submission of her passport.

On August 8, a NAB team had detained her outside the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore for skipping appearance in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills. 

Maryam was unable to provide required details of foreign investment in the case and failed to satisfy the accountability watchdog about source(s) of her income for purchasing the shares. The NAB had claimed that three foreigners had transferred 11,000 shares worth millions of rupees to Maryam’s name.

On July 19, an accountability court had turned down petition of the NAB claiming Maryam Nawaz had produced a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield reference.

Judge Mohammad Bashir had declared anti-corruption watchdog’s appeal as un-maintainable and ruled that no action could be taken in this regard until the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Maryam’s petition against the Avenfield properties verdict.

On July 6, 2018, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield properties reference and sentenced them to 10 years and 07 years of imprisonment, respectively.

In the verdict, Judge Bashir had declared that “The trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus. In view of the role of this accused Maryam Nawaz, she is convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with fine of two million pounds.”

She was arrested and shifted to Adiala jail. Later, in September 2018, and was released from jail after the Islamabad High Court suspended her prison sentence.