Plea for clubbing references; Supreme Court should give verdict in open court: Nawaz Sharif

Plea for clubbing references; SC should give verdict in open court: Nawaz

Pakistan Press Club ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif made an appeal to the Supreme Court (SC) to issue verdict in an open court on his petition seeking clubbing of three references against him.


The IHC division bench on December 4 (tomorrow) would announce its verdict over deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea to joint framing of charges and joint trial in the two out of three corruption references pending against him at the Accountability Court (AC). The IHC division bench had reserved its judgment on this issue on November 23.

Meanwhile, defunct federal minister for finance Ishaq Dar on Saturday also challenged his non-bailable arrest warrants and initiation of proclamation process, through a petition before the IHC.


An Accountability Court of Islamabad on November 21 had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Dar after declaring him an absconder and initiated proclamation process due to his non-appearance before the court.


Ishaq Dar challenged his non-bailable arrest warrants before IHC through his relative Rehan Bashir. In the petition, Dar nominated judge Accountability Court Number 1, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) through its chairman and NAB Investigation Officer in his corruption reference, assistant director Nadir Abbas as respondents.


The petitioner said that he was summoned by the AC to appear and face the trial in the corruption reference by the title “Assets and Funds beyond known sources of income”. The petitioner regularly kept appearing till October 23 when the AC completed recording of the statements of five prosecution witnesses and the case was then adjourned till October 30. After October 23, the petitioner led a Pakistani delegation to Tajikistan and then went to Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah. It was there that he felt heaviness in chest and was constrained to go London for taking medical treatment.


That the petitioner was due to return Pakistan on November 1, when Dr Christopher Baker (Consultant Cardiologist) after a thorough examination of the petitioner concluded that he had to undergo a coronary angiography. On November 2, date of hearing, the petitioner on medical ground sought exemption from appearing before the court but the Accountability Court judge dismissed the application and issued bailable arrest warrants for him.


Apart from Dr Christopher Baker, one Dr Ranjeet Deshpandey also advised the petitioner to undergo further tests and treatment and medical reports duly verified by the Pakistan High Commission in London were produced before the Accountability Court. The AC then directed NAB to verify the reports.


He alleged that NAB deliberately avoided verification of the reports as if they were verified, the prosecution would have no excuse to oppose the exemption application of the petitioner. On November 14 another application seeking exemption from personal appearance was submitted before the AC but the court instead issued non-bailable arrest warrants instead, Dar said.


Dar said that he is not avoiding court proceedings deliberately but was doing so on the advice of his doctors. Owing to his medical condition, the petitioner had issued a power of attorney in the name of one Rehan Bashir to act as his authorised representative so that the case proceedings may not be hampered. The petitioner also filed applications to appoint a pleader on each date of hearing.


The petitioner said that the AC after declaring him absconder initiated proclamation process against him, which he termed as illegal. He said under section 87 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a court cannot issue proclamation unless it is satisfied that the accused is willfully avoiding proceedings of the court.


The petitioner requested the court to set aside the AC order of November 21 through which he was declared absconder and all consequential orders for the non-bailable arrest warrants and initiation of proclamation proceedings.


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