ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued notices to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president, Maryam Nawaz, and her husband on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) application for daily hearing of Sharif family's appeals against their conviction.
A division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani conducted hearing of the NAB's application seeking day to day hearing in Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar's appeals in the Avenfield Property reference.
At the outset of hearing, the NAB special prosecutor, Barrister Usman Cheema, said that the appeal must be decided within 30 days under the law.
He added that Maryam Nawaz and her husband had been seeking adjournments since 2018 and such an attitude was condemnable even in civil courts.
The NAB prosecutor informed the court that during the last six dates of the hearing, the appellant's counsel has sought adjournments on four dates of hearing and pleaded for adjournment for one or the other pretext.
"On the last date of hearing, the appellant made request to engage new counsel in a month time, hence intention of the appellant is adopting all conceivable methods to delay the proceedings which is against the spirit of NAO," maintained the NAB.
The court asked whether the bureau wanted daily hearing only in appeal of Maryam as it had not made the same request in Capt (retired) Safdar's case.
The NAB prosecutor answered that the bureau wanted daily hearing in all appeals.
The NAB prosecutor argued that his department had made this request after three and a half years since the appeals were filed.
The accused had hired a team of five lawyers but the case was still not proceeded.
Later, the court served notices to the respondents and deferred the hearing till October 6th. The same bench also adjourned the NAB's appeal against acquittal of former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Flagship Investment reference till November 17.
In this matter, the NAB filed an application requesting the IHC to conduct day to day hearing in appeals of Maryam and her husband Captain (retired) Safdar against their conviction in the reference.
In the application filed to the court, the anti-graft watchdog adopted that the accused was repeatedly using delaying tactics deliberately. It added that the appellant has tried its best to delay and stall the titled proceedings and hamper the smooth progress of the matter.
The NAB argued that the NAO 1999 is a special law wherein, Section 32 (b) gives 30 days time period for a decision of appeals. Therefore, it prayed before the court to conduct day to day hearing till its decision.
Meanwhile, another single bench of the IHC directed a sessions court to conclude the trial of Usman Mirza and his accomplices in the couple harassment and torture case within two months.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani dismissed bail applications of three co-accused, Idrees Qayyum Butt, Hafiz Attaur Rehman, and Farhan Shaheen.
The court announced its verdict after hearing arguments from the defense counsel as well as the prosecution lawyers on the bail pleas of the accused.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021