ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday restored the appeals of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif against his 2018 convictions in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia cases.

An IHC division bench, comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, accepted the petitions seeking the revival of these appeals.

Mr Sharif, who was found guilty in both references by an accountability court in July 2018, days before the general elections, had previously been declared a proclaimed offender after leaving for the UK for medical treatment after securing bail. His appeals were subsequently dismissed.

During Thursday’s proceedings, the NAB’s prosecutor general, Ihtsham Qadir Shah, reminded the court of the references’ origins, highlighting that these were filed on the Supreme Court’s instructions after it formed a joint investigation team. Therefore, the anti-graft watchdog could not decide on its own to not prosecute the accused, he said.

Ex-PM may need to submit fresh bonds since he had jumped bail, says NAB official

Mr Shah said that while the prosecution could opt to drop case against a suspect during trial, it lost this privilege after conviction when the appeals were filed.

He elaborated that in 2022, an amendment to Section 8 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) empowered the NAB’s prosecutor general and special prosecutors to make independent decisions. He said the prosecution had to simultaneously ensure rights of the accused and assist the NAB chairman.

He also pointed out that the IHC, while acquitting Mr Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband, Safdar Awan, had made certain observations.

When the court asked about NAB’s stance on the revival of the petitions, Mr Shah confirmed the bureau had no objections.

To another question, the NAB official explained the further course of action to determine Mr Sharif’s bail. He asserted that NAB would not arrest Mr Sharif since he had voluntarily surrendered and the court order that dismissed his appeals did not state anything regarding the former premier’s custody.

However, Mr Shah said that since the court was mindful that Mr Sharif had previously jumped bail, it might require him to present new bail bonds.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...