IHC to hear plea against Nawaz’s acquittal in Flagship case

Published July 29, 2021
This file photo shows former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File
This file photo shows former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday decided to hear the appeals of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking to set aside acquittal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship reference and enhance his sentence in Al-Azizia reference.

Accountability judge Arshad Malik had acquitted Mr Sharif in the Flagship reference on Dec 24, 2018, and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia reference.

The Supreme Court on July 28, 2017, had disqualified Mr Sharif from holding a public office and directed NAB to file three references against the Sharif family in accountability court.

Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted Mr Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and retired Captain Safdar on July 6, days before the 2018 general election.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had held a press conference in July 2019 and released a video of judge Arshad Malik in which he confessed to having convicted Mr Sharif under duress.

Dismisses petition seeking cancellation of ex-PM’s bail

The judge was suspended and then transferred to his parent department, the Lahore High Court. Later on, he was dismissed from service.

On Wednesday, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi and other prosecutors appeared before the IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.

Besides NAB’s appeal against the orders of the accountability court in both the references, the prosecution has also filed an application for cancellation of Sharif’s bail in Avenfield Apartment reference.

The court, however, dismissed the petition seeking cancellation of bail for being infructuous since it has already declared Mr Sharif a proclaimed offender.

Mr Abbasi argued that NAB was seeking enhancement of sentence in Al-Azizia reference since instead of awarding 14-year imprisonment, the judge had sentenced Mr Sharif to seven-years jail term without giving reason for leniency.

The IHC bench decided to hear the arguments of NAB on the plea seeking enhancement of sentence on Sept 12 and adjourned hearing on appeal against Mr Sharif’s acquittal in Flagship reference till Sept 28.

The same IHC bench in April this year had not heard NAB’s appeal against acquittal of Shaukat Tarin

in rental power projects case, obs­erving that the court would hear appeals against conviction, not acquittal.

Published in Dawn, July 29th , 2021

Opinion

Royal taxidermy
16 Sep 2021

Royal taxidermy

The king’s death was hastened so it could be announced in the morning papers.
A great leap backward
Updated 15 Sep 2021

A great leap backward

Courses appear to reinforce a closed mindset and have nothing to do with the requirements of a modern education system.

Editorial

Aid for Afghans
16 Sep 2021

Aid for Afghans

Humanitarian aid can resume even if the world decides to hold back on formal recognition of the regime for now.
16 Sep 2021

Wheat price

THE government’s decision to raise the wheat release price, or the rate at which provinces issue their grain ...
16 Sep 2021

Keeping the press out

ON Monday, the government yet again displayed its rising contempt for the freedom of press — this time in...
15 Sep 2021

Election trends

THE cantonment board elections are over and their results offer an opportunity for introspection to all major...
15 Sep 2021

Grace marks

THE decision to promote all students awaiting the results of their board exams by awarding grace marks is likely to...