Khudayar Mohla –
While granting one time exemption from personal appearance before the court on Tuesday, Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked counsels for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to commence arguments in appeal against seven years imprisonment in Al-Azizia corruption reference on April 23.
Appearing before a division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, counsels for Sharif including Sher Afghan Asadi and Munawar Iqbal Duggal apprised that their client is not able to appear before the court on medical grounds.
Substantiating their claim, the counsels submitted that Supreme Court has granted a six-week bail to Sharif for medical treatment, adding, owing to his prevailing medical condition Nawaz Sharif unable to appear before the court on Tuesday in the matter.
Responding to court query, counsels informed that they will represent Sharif before the bench instead of main counsel Khawaja Haris during course of the day as he was occupied somewhere else. The counsels also produced a medical certificate of Nawaz Sharif for one time exemption from appearing before the bench.
However, the bench asked them to commence arguments to justify their client’s appeal against Accountability Court verdict through which he was awarded sentence of seven years prison in addition to fine of Rs1.5 billion in the Al-Azizia corruption reference on December 24, 2018. It is worth mentioning that Nawaz Sharif was acquitted in another reference relating to Flagship Investments.
The counsels requested the bench to go through its earlier order in the matter saying the court office has to provide paper books of the case to all parties of the case without which they cannot proceed for arguments in the matter.
After a brief adjudication, the bench said in its short order that counsels for Sharif and National Accountability Bureau would be provided copies of the paper books of the case whereby counsels of the convicted were asked to commence arguments in the case during next date of hearing.
Besides, the bench also fixed hearing of the appeal of the NAB against acquittal of Nawaz Sharif in Flagship corruption reference on April 29. Later, hearing of the matter was adjourned till April 23.
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