Wednesday Dec 02, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was declared a “proclaimed offender” by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday.
The orders were issued by the two-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani. The bench was seized with the appeals filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his sentences in the Al Azizia and Avenfield cases.
During today’s hearing, Foreign Ministry Director Europe Mubashir Khan told the IHC that he had received the court's advertisements regarding Nawaz Sharif and sent it to the Pakistani High Commission in London.
An officer of the Federal Investigation Agency, in his statement to the court, said he delivered the advertisements at Nawaz Sharif’s residences in Jati Umrah and Model Town in Lahore.
Aijaz Ahmed told the bench that he had visited the Model Town residence first where he met the security team. He added that he informed them of the advertisements and also shouted Nawaz’s name loudly.
“The same was done at the Jati Umrah residence,” the FIA official informed the bench. He added that the FIA team has also submitted pictures of the visits.
After listening to their statements, Justice Farooq said that the court will issue orders on the basis of the evidence.
“What should we do now?” he asked NAB’s Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzaib Bharwana.
“Two appeals are from Nawaz Sharif and two NAB appeals are against Nawaz Sharif. A notice has been issued against NAB’s appeal to increase the sentence, but no notice has been issued in the flagship reference,” said Justice Amir Farooq while addressing Bharwana.
Upon hearing Justice Farooq, the NAB lawyer asked the court to dismiss the appeals filed by the former prime minister on “merit”.
He added that Nawaz can be sentenced for not surrendering to the court.
To this, Justice Farooq asked the NAB prosecutor to present judicial precedents at the next hearing on what should be done about the appeal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He said Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar’s cases are also fixed for hearing in the coming days.
“Should Nawaz Sharif's appeals be fixed for hearing along with those appeals?” asked Justice Farooq.
However, Bharwana contended the “merit” was completely different on the appeals filed by Safdar and Maryam.
Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani intervened, saying the court will also look at the conduct of former judge Arshad Malik.
To this, Bharwana said Nawaz had submitted a petition to present five witnesses. He added that the second petition has been filed by Nasir Butt.
Upon hearing the details of the appeal, the court observed that judge Arshad Malik had also submitted an affidavit in court which is part of the record.
“Tell the court in the next hearing whether the joint petition will be seen first or the appeals,” said Justice Farooq. While Justice Kayani said the court will have to look at the law even if the accused has fled.
The court, after hearing the arguments, decided to declare Nawaz a proclaimed offender and stated that it will issue its written orders shortly.