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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requested the Supreme Court on Monday to allow it to unconditionally withdraw an appeal filed by its chairman Javed Iqbal challenging the transfer of two corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar to another accountability court.

A three-judge SC bench consisting of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan will take up on Tuesday a NAB plea seeking to set aside the Islamabad High Court’s Aug 7 order and allow Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court to continue hearing the rest of the corruption references till their conclusion.

In one of the corruption references concerning the upscale London Avenfield apartments, Judge Bashir had on July 6 jailed Mr Sharif for 10 years, Maryam for seven years and Capt Safdar for one year.

Now accountability judge Mohammad Arshad Malik is hearing the other two references — Al-Azizia/Hill Metal and Flagship Investment — against the ousted prime minister.

The Supreme Court had on Sept 18 rejected a NAB petition by declaring it frivolous and slapped a fine of Rs20,000 on the bureau with a directive to deposit the amount in the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams fund. The petition was moved against the IHC’s decision to hear petitions seeking suspension of the sentence awarded by the accountability court to the Sharif family members.

Subsequently, the IHC had on Sept 19 suspended the sentence and ordered releasing Mr Sharif, Mariam and Capt Safdar from jail.

In its appeal to be taken up the apex court on Tuesday, NAB argued that the high court fell into grave error by transferring the references when no actual and specific bias or prejudice was highlighted against the earlier accountability court judge.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2018