LAHORE - Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Pakistan Baseball Federation (PBBF) secretary Khawar Shah to hand over passports of national baseball team players on next hearing.

The judge warned the secretary to comply with the court’s order otherwise he would be sent jail. Baseball players through their counsel told the court that their passports had been taken by the federation for a baseball tournament in Canada. They said the federation did not return their passports despite that tour was cancelled.

On other hand, baseball federation’s counsel opposed their arguments saying that 10 year ago, baseball players disappeared in a foreign country. And subsequently, international baseball association imposed ban on participation of Pakistani players in international tournaments so to avoid such untoward incident, the passports of players had not been released, he added.

In previous hearing, Khawar Shah was summoned and asked about the passports. He told the court that he had the passports. On Thursday, when the judge asked him again about the passports, he replied that he had given passports to an embassy. Upon which the judge expressed serious dismay and said: “Why should not you be sent to jail straightaway.”

Khawar tendered his unconditional apology. The judge directed him to hand over passports on next hearing and warned him against sending to jail if the passports were not handed over. The proceedings adjourned till July 21.