The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected two pleas, filed by the federal government, seeking printing of proclamation about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in two London newspapers.
An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani dismissed the miscellaneous applications, filed by the government, after hearing arguments put forward by a state counsel.
During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar argued that the IHC had ordered for publishing the summons for the PML-N supremo in two Pakistani newspapers, whereas Mian Nawaz Sharif was living in London currently.
He requested the court to issue orders for publishing summons for former premier in the UK newspapers. However, the bench rejected the plea. Earlier, two Pakistani newspapers on Monday posted the former prime minister’s proclamations issued by the IHC registrar. According to the proclamation, Nawaz has been directed to turn up in the court till Nov 24, or face adverse legal action.
IHC issues proclamation against former PM Nawaz Sharif in two cases
Earlier this month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a proclamation against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia and Avenfield references and directed that it be published in two leading newspapers.
The court asked Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar to deposit the proclamation’s publishing cost with daily Dawn and Jang. Through the proclamation, the court asked Mr Sharif to surrender himself in 30 days to avoid further adverse process. The court stated that in case the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader remains absent even after the expiry of the given period, the court would declare him a proclaimed offender and order attachment of his properties.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the IHC bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, recorded the statement of Director Europe at the Foreign Office, Mohammad Mubashir, in the courtroom and of First Secretry Dildar Ali Abro and Consular Rao Abdul Hanan through video link from the Pakistani High Commission in London. They appraised the court of the efforts made to serve non-bailable arrest warrants on Nawaz Sharif.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Khan Bharwana informed the court that the process to serve warrants had been completed and it could now issue the proclamation of the accused.
The IHC’s proclamation was issued to inform Mr Sharif to join the appeals against his conviction in Al-Azizia and Avenfield references.
The court had granted bail of eight weeks to Mr Sharif last year in Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds which lapsed in February.
The reference pertains to the Sharifs being unable to justify the source of funds used for setting up Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment in Saudi Arabia, making it a case of owning assets beyond means.
Accountability court convicts Sharif
Arshad Malik, the accountability court judge who was removed for misconduct on Dec 24, had convicted Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference and imposed a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million on him. A 10-year disqualification from holding a public office was also part of the sentence.
The disqualification would go into effect following Mr Sharif’s release from jail after serving the seven-year sentence.