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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in response to former president Asif Ali Zardari’s petition to transfer references from the Accountability Court (AC), Islamabad to the AC, Karachi.

A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the appeal of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman for transfer of cases in view of his health condition.

During the proceeding, Justice Bandial said there were many issues; therefore, the references were filed in the AC, Islamabad, adding the NAB filed references in the AC Islamabad on the direction of the apex court.

He asked whether any reference was filed against Zardari earlier in Islamabad.

Farooq H Naek said references were filed against his client in AC Lahore, Rawalpindi and even the trial of one reference was held in Attock Fort, adding Zardari was acquitted in all the cases in the past.

The bench said January 7, 2019, order was final and therefore, they could not alter or prevent the authorities for proceeding in the matter.

Naek said it was their legal right to file an application for the transfer of cases from Islamabad to Karachi.

He contended that the court order could not take away their right to file an application.

The case was adjourned for one month.

The apex court 07-01-2019 in Human Right case under Article 184(3) of Constitution directed the NAB to file a reference against Zardari in fake bank accounts case before the AC, Islamabad.

“…We also direct that in view of the fact that the entire record of the JIT is to be submitted with NAB at Islamabad and further inquiry (if any) is also be conducted there, the reference shall be prepared and presented before the Accountability Courts in Islamabad/Rawalpindi,” the SC order said.

Former president Zardari on November 3 had filed appeals in the apex court against Park Lane, fake account, Toshakhana, Thatta Water Supply project references, praying the references pending before the AC, Islamabad be transferred to AC Karachi.

The ex-president stated that the proceedings of references in AC, Islamabad, were contrary to the facts as well as the law applicable in the present circumstances of the cases.

He said the proceedings before the AC, Islamabad, were based on the mis-reading of the Supreme Court order dated 07-01-2019.

Zardari stated that he was seriously ill and was about 65 years old and was a chronic patient suffering from various ailments including cardiovascular disease.

He is also suffering from ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, sensory peripheral and autonomic neuropathy.

The former president said that since he was admitted in the hospital where his medical condition was under constant supervision by doctors who had advised him to take proper care and precautions and not to travel which he did recently to attend the hearing pursuant to the orders passed by the AC, Islamabad.

He stated that since the investigation had concluded and the instant reference had been filed and no chance to influence the investigation existed at this stage.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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