IHC seeks NAB response on Sharif’s pleas against graft indictment
ISLAMABAD: A divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sent notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday after approving three petitions filed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, seeking halt to the accountability proceedings against him.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petitions filed through ex-PM Sharif’s representative Zafir Khan.
The court will resume the hearing on November 2.
Earlier today, as many as three pleas were filed by ex-PM Sharif’s representative Zafir Khan, challenging the NAB court’s indictment in the corruption references.
The ousted premier through his representative also pleaded the IHC to declare the NAB court’s ruling as unlawful, besides consolidation of three graft references.
Moreover, the former premier has also pleaded for a single trial on a single charge rather than three.
On Oct 19, the NAB court indicted ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar in a reference regarding Avenfield apartments in London..
It is apropos to mention here that the reference relates to the Avenfield properties (flats 16, 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom).
The court then indicted Sharif in another reference regarding Aziza Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment.
However, Sharif’s lawyer Zafir Khan – who was representing him in his absence – pleaded ‘not guilty’ soon after the charged was framed.
Reference consolidation plea in SC
A similar has also been submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan by ex-PM Sharif, seeking consolidation of three concurrent graft references.
The petition was filed through ex-PM Sharif’s legal team, stating that filling multiple references on a single allegation, possessing assets beyond known sources of income, is the sheer breach of Section 9 (a) (5) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).
The petition pleads for suspension of the accountability court proceedings until the other three references are incorporated within a single corruption reference.
The court is yet to take up the plea.
Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar are nominated in a single corruption reference in connection with London properties.
In an earlier hearing, the court granted bail to the couple in the reference after submission of surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.
Moreover, the court also directed Safdar to take the court’s permission before leaving the country.
On the other hand, ex-PM Sharif and his two sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – have been nominated in two references regarding the Aziza Steel Mills, Hill Metals Establishment, and nearly dozen other companies owned by the Sharif family.
Ousted PM Sharif could face lifetime disqualification from holding a public office including the freezing of bank accounts, besides 14 years imprisonment over conviction in the references.