Maryam accused of delaying tactics after counsel skips IHC hearing

Published November 23, 2021
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz speaks to the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz speaks to the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: After the newly-engaged counsel for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader expressed his inability to appear before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday (tomorrow) in the hearing of appeals of Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, the government took this as an opportunity to blame the appellant for adopting delaying tactics.

Advocate Irfan Qadir, who was engaged by Ms Nawaz last month, filed an application before the IHC seeking hearing on any other date except Nov 24 as he was supposed to appear before the Supreme Court.

The application signed by Advocate Qadir stated: “At the conclusion of hearing on Nov 17, 2021, the titled case was adjourned to Nov 24…that immediately thereafter the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a cause list according to which two cases of the undersigned counsel have been fixed before the bench no. 2 at the principal seat of the apex court on the same date…as such it would not be possible for the undersigned to be present before this Honorable Court on Nov 24.”

Subsequently, Irfan Qadir requested the court that “the case may graciously be adjourned to any other date convenient to this Honorable Court”.

It is a routine practice that when a lawyer is supposed to appear before the Supreme Court, he seeks adjournment in cases fixed for hearing before the high courts or trial courts on the same date.

However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry blamed Ms Nawaz for seeking 16 adjournments since August 2018 when she filed an appeal before the IHC against her conviction in the Avenfield apartment reference.

“16th application to seek adjournment from Maryam Nawaz, and organised propaganda against judiciary and armed forces, hence these people are not less than Sicilian Mafia,” the minister tweeted.

The government has been accusing the PML-N of launching a campaign against the judiciary after the former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan, in an affidavit, accused the former Supreme Court chief justice Saqib Nisar of issuing instructions to delay the release of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz till the conclusion of the 2018 general election.

The government was also critical of the leaked audio of Justice Nisar in which he was allegedly discussing the conviction of Mr Sharif and his daughter.

A few days before the elections in 2018, the accountability judge of Islamabad, who is working under the supervision of an apex court judge, convicted the Sharif family in the Avenfield apartment reference on July 6.

The Sharif family filed appeals against its conviction before the IHC in the second week of August 2018.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2021

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