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The Supreme Court (SC) in an in-chamber hearing on Thursday rejected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's petition to club together the three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him.

This was the second time that the PML-N leader was seeking the clubbing of NAB's references against him, with his original attempt turned down by the SC registrar on December 2.

Sharif had claimed that filing three separate references against him was "illegal, and violates the law and the Constitution, besides being violative of his [Sharif's] fundamental rights".

But the apex court in Thursday's ruling upheld the registrar's objections against Sharif's petition, rejecting the PML-N head's plea for a second time.

Sharif had also asked the SC to declare his disqualification from holding public office as illegal. But the SC questioned how Sharif can challenge his disqualification when his review petition has already been dismissed.

On July 28, 2017, the SC had disqualified Sharif from holding public office in a landmark decision on the Panama Papers case, also ordering the NAB to open references against him and his family, and other respondents.