Court takes up NAB application for auction of Nawaz’s properties

Published April 23, 2021
In this file photo, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses PPP-hosted multiparty conference through video link from UK. — Screengrab/File
In this file photo, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses PPP-hosted multiparty conference through video link from UK. — Screengrab/File

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court here on Thursday commenced proceedings on an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking auction of the properties of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Accountability Judge Syed Asghar Ali said the court would proceed on the application to dispose of the unclaimed properties of Mr Sharif.

The application was filed by NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi.

Referring to the accountability court’s order in which Mr Sharif has been declared a proclaimed offender in Toshakhana reference, Mr Abbasi stated that despite a lapse of six months, the former premier did not surrender before the court.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani are also accused in the reference.

However, both leaders sought exemption from personal attendance.

Muzaffar Khan Abbasi and another prosecutor appeared before the court.

It may be mentioned that NAB has submitted a report before the accountability court, stating that Mr Sharif owns shares in four registered companies, operates eight accounts, including three foreign currency accounts.

In addition, the former premier has one Land Cruiser, two Mercedes cars and two tractors. His dependent also own properties in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Murree and Abbottabad, it stated.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz has already challenged the attachment of properties of the Sharif family in Murree and Chhangla Galli with other properties frozen in connection with the Toshakhana reference because of absconding of her father Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Nawaz filed the petition against the attachment of House No 24-A&B, III, Hall Road, Murree, and a house in Chhangla Galli, Abbottabad, in the Toshakhana case.

She stated in the petition that both houses were owned by her late mother, Kalsoom Nawaz. She said that the two houses had been purchased much before the period mentioned in the reference and after the death of the owner of the houses in question, the ownership devolved upon legal heirs as per judgement and decree dated May 14, 2019, and the houses are undivided properties in the joint ownership of all legal heirs.

She pleaded that the Oct 1, 2020 order was liable to be corrected under Section 88 (6A) Criminal Procedure Code and the above-mentioned properties might be released from the attachment.

According to the Toshakhana reference, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari had obtained vehicles from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of luxury vehicles.

The National Accountability Bureau alleged that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif by dishonestly and illegally relaxing the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a cabinet division memorandum of 2007.

The Accountability Court-III of Islamabad had in May last year issued non-bailable warrants for Nawaz Sharif for not attending the court proceedings in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2021

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