IHC to decide Nawaz Sharif's surrender issue on Sept 15

Abbasi tells reporters the very existence of NAB is mala-fide

By: News Desk      Published: 02:54 PM, 10 Sep, 2020
IHC to decide Nawaz Sharif's surrender issue on Sept 15

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) sought arguments from both sides on whether the appeals filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif could be heard in his absence and observed that the decision about providing relief to him will be decided on September 15 – the date fixed for next hearing, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Nawaz had requested the IHC on Wednesday to review its earlier decision in which he was ordered to surrender before the court in connection with the appeal filed against his conviction in Al Azizia and Avenfield references. In this connection, detailed medical reports have been attached to the plea.

Earlier on September 1, the IHC had ordered the former prime minister to surrender before the court as it rejected a plea filed to get an exemption from appearing in person for the hearing of appeals.

During Thursday’s hearing, the NAB prosecutor argued before a two-member bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani that the application could not be heard as Nawaz had already been declared a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana reference.

At this point, Justice Aamir observed that how they could entertain the application as it was a prerequisite for Nawaz Sharif to surrender before hearing the appeals.

Khawaja Haris – the counsel for Nawaz – said that the miscellaneous applications should also be heard. But Justice Aamir remarked that the issue right now is whether the two additional pleas filed by Nawaz could be maintainable or not.

The court had already in the Pervez Musharraf case ruled that a proclaimed offender could not be heard without surrendering himself before that, he observed.

When asked by the court, Khawaja Haris said his client wasn’t currently hospitalised, to which Justice Kayani remarked that Nawaz was in the UK but the doctor whose medical certificate had been provided was in the US.

Meanwhile, the additional attorney general told the court that the medical reports were incomplete and the Punjab government had rejected the bail plea of Nawaz.

However, the court asked him whether the government had tried to ascertain if Nawaz was fit for travelling and what steps were taken for ensuring his return. The additional attorney general replied that he wasn’t admitted in any hospital.

He replied that the government did not verify Nawaz’s treatment as there had been no treatment, as the court asked him about the subject.

After the arguments presented by the two sides, the court adjourned the hearing till September 15, as Justice Aamir said the only point before the court was whether Nawaz’s application could be heard. Assist the court on this point. “We will issue a detailed order on this on September 15,” he added. 

After the hearing, PML-N Senior Vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Nawaz was declared a proclaimed offender in a mala fide and bogus case as he referred to the accountability court’s move in the Toshakhana reference.

The court said they don’t know where Nawaz is at a time when the entire Pakistan knows where is, remarked Abbasi as he was talking to reporters outside the IHC. The very existence of NAB was based by ill-intention, said the former prime minister.

He made clear that Nawaz would return only after completing his treatment, adding that detailed medical reports had been submitted before the court.

About the appeal process in Al Azizia and Avenfield references, he said the party supremo’s absence won’t affect the hearing as there was a law which allowed that to happen. 

He noted that the incumbent PTI government was the most corrupt in Pakistan’s history, which had been hesitant to submit any report on the issue.

Chaudhry Nisar isn’t in the PML-N currently, but he would be part of if he attends the APC scheduled for the 20th of this month, he remarked.

NAB files petition against PML-N leaders

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court for the suspension of bail of Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference. The anti-corruption watchdog has stated in his petition that PML-N leaders have intervened in the judicial matters by suggesting Nawaz Sharif to not return to Pakistan.

In its 14-page petition, the Bureau sought suspension of bail to Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference besides seeking action against PML-N leaders. It is pertinent to mention here that the high court had suspended 10-year jail term of Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference.