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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up the National Accountability Bureau’s request for early hearing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeals against his conviction in two corruption cases Thursday (Apr 8).

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will hear the petitions against Nawaz Sharif.

The anti-corruption watchdog pleaded with the high court to pronounce 14-year imprisonment of the former prime minister in the Al-Azizia case.

In this regard, the special prosecutor of the NAB submitted before the court an application under section 151 CPC of the early hearing of Sharif’s appeals against his sentences in Al Azizia and Avenfield cases.

The NAB stated in its application that the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) ordained that the matters falling within the purview of enactment are to be expeditiously disposed of and decided.

It added, “In this context, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has very recently directed that the number of Accountability Courts be enhanced and also issued specific directions for early adjudication and decision of the matters.”

The NAB mentioned that in this matter and the related matters, Nawaz Sharif was declared a proclaimed offender by the IHC vide order dated 2-12-20 as despite taking concession and leave of bail and knowledge of the proceedings, he has not cared to appear in court or to attend the proceedings.

“It will be worthwhile to mention here that in view of this situation, this court framed legal propositions which need to be addressed and the NAB has prepared a response on its behalf in this context and is ready to plead on these propositions,” stated the NAB application.

It continued that the instant matter and the other related matters arose out of mega corruption case, therefore, it is submitted with utmost respect and humility that these matters may graciously be ordered to be heard at an early date which is convenient to this court to meet the ends of justice.

Previously, a two-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had declared former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a proclaimed offender in two corruption cases of Al Azizia and Avenfield cases.

The IHC bench had also summoned the guarantors of the former prime minister to appear before the court in person on the next hearing to be held on December 9, which was later adjourned.

In the order, the court had noted that a number of opportunities were given to Nawaz but he failed to appear before the court.

The bench directed to initiate further proceedings under section 514 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court also directed the prosecutor of the NAB to present the case law regarding the criminal procedure in this matter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021