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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Wednesday, deferred the hearing of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s appeals in the Avenfield Apartment reference due to non-availability of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.

The IHC registrar office had fixed the case before a two-member bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani but later cancelled it due to non-availability of Justice Kayani as he was tested positive for Covid-19 on July 30.

In the last hearing, the court had granted one exemption from personal appearance to Maryam for one day. She had filed an application through her lawyer Amjad Pervez, saying that she could not appear before the court as she had tested positive for Covid-19.

Maryam and her husband Captain Mohammad Safdar Awan (retd) had filed appeals against their conviction in the Avenfield Apartment reference.

The IHC had previously separated the appeals of Nawaz Sharif from the appeals of Maryam and Safdar, and declared the former premier a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the hearing.

On July 6, 2018, Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and her spouse Captain Awan (retd) in the Avenfield Apartment reference, and awarded them prison terms of 10 years, seven years, and one year, respectively. The court had later suspended their respective sentences.

In her appeal, Maryam stated she was convicted under Section 9 (a)(v) and (xii) of the NAO, 1999 and for the offence at Serial No 2 of the Schedule to the NAO, 1999, and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with fine of two million pounds under Section 10 of the NAO, 1999 for the offence under Section 9 (a)(v) and (xii) ibid, and to one year simple imprisonment for offence at Serial No 2 of the Schedule to the NAO, 1999, with stipulation that both sentences shall run concurrently.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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