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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Thursday, disposed of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s request for an early hearing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeals against his conviction in two corruption cases.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the NAB applications and against Nawaz Sharif, and directed the registrar office to fix the case as per SOPs issued in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases.

The bench observed that at the moment, SOPs-related to COVID-19 disease are being implemented and directed the registrar office to fix the case as per SOPs. The anti-corruption watchdog pleaded with the high court to pronounce the 14-year imprisonment of the former prime minister in the Al-Azizia case.

The special prosecutor of the NAB submitted before the court an application under section 151 CPC of 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 honourable 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 before this court,” 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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