IHC seeks legal status of bail granted to Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference

By: News Desk      Published: 04:21 PM, 17 Aug, 2020
IHC seeks legal status of bail granted to Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday asked about the legal status of the eight-week bail granted to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference, on the basis of which he had flown to London in last November.

The matter came under discussion when a two-judge bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Amir Farooq heard a petition filed by the PML-N supremo against summons for his appearance in what is commonly known as Toshakhana case, 24NewsHD TV channel reported. The court has adjourned the case till August 20.

Justice Minallah said: “Nawaz Sharif's two appeals are pending in this court. What is the status of the eight-week bail granted? Has it expired?”

The three-time former premier is said to be under medical treatment in the British capital at a time when the court wants him to turn up before it to offer his point of view.

His lawyer insisted that the bail granted to his client was still valid.

However, not satisfied with the assertion, the court has called for the relevant record on which Nawaz Sharif lawyers sought time to check record about the status of Nawaz Sharif bail from the Punjab government

On 15 August, Nawaz Sharif moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against an accountability court’s orders to appear in person and issuing displaying notices as part of the process to declare him an absconder.

The accountability court had issued these orders in the Tosha khana reference in which Nawaz and former president Asif Ali Zardari are among the accused.

In the petition, it is argued that the National Accountability Court (NAB) is harassing and targeting Nawaz and his family without any reason. Through an ad, the accountability court has given him the last chance to appear in person on August 17 after which he would be declared an absconder.

Requesting the IHC to declare the accountability court’s orders null and void, the petition says the NAB wants to silence the opposition by targeting them.

Nawaz also argued through the petition that the European Union and the Human Rights Watch have already described the actions taken by NAB as baseless and illegal.

It is also made clear in the petition that Nawaz isn’t an absconder and had left the country for medical treatment after obtaining bail from a court. Therefore, the petitioner says, he should be allowed to face the trial through his legal counsel as he is out of the country because of the fact that his treatment is still in progress.

Last month, a notice was displayed at Jati Umra and Model Town residences of Nawaz, directing him to appear before it on Aug 17 in the Tosha Khana reference.

Earlier, Former president Asif Ali Zardari had requested the accountability court to direct the authorities concerned for making video link arrangements to ensure his presence in the Tosha Khana reference proceedings considering his old age, ailment and vulnerability to coronavirus.

The accountability court had issued non-bailable warrants for Nawaz who along with Zardari are accused of obtaining cars from Tosha Khana by paying 15 percent of the price with the help of the then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The NAB has alleged in the reference that Gilani had facilitated Nawaz and Zardari in the process.