ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif, on Monday, moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking restoration of his appeals against the Accountability Court’s verdicts in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb will hear the appeals on Tuesday.

The petitions filed through advocate Amjad Pervez prayed the court to hear the appeals on merit as earlier they were discarded for non-compliance when the former prime minister did not return from London after he was granted permission by the court in November 2019 to go abroad for medical treatment.

In the Avenfield petition, the PML-N chief maintained that he was sentenced in absentia on July 6, 2018, in Avenfield reference as he could not attend a court hearing in view of his wife’s ailment who was undergoing treatment and on the ventilator at a hospital in London.

Nawaz said his appeals against the Avenfield and Al-Azizia references were not dismissed on merit rather they were discarded for non-compliance.

He stated, “The absence of the petitioner before this Hon’ble Court was neither intentional nor deliberate or mala-fide, rather, he was unable to enter appearance due to medical advice and circumstances beyond his control, unfortunately, his health condition could not improve and the requisite procedures got delayed on account of Covid-19 pandemic, on account of the peculiar background and nature of various serious ailments, he was consistently advised not to travel and stay in close proximity of healthcare facilities in London for ongoing treatment and planned interventions which facts are duly reflected in the medical reports.”

Nawaz requested the court in the petitions to restore the appeal “to its original position” along with all interim, incidental and ancillary orders connected therewith and the same “may kindly be decided on merits in accordance with law in the interest of justice.”

His counsel argued that Nawaz never took advantage of the bail granted to him in all the cases. He stated that Nawaz went abroad with the permission of the concerned court.

He asserted that Nawaz had not fully recovered from the illness but decided to return after witnessing the deteriorating economic conditions of the country and the challenges faced on various fronts. It was said in the petition that Nawaz had been appearing before the joint investigation team despite being the prime minister and he returned to face the trial.

He continued that the petitioner is entitled to the relief at the anvil of a number of fundamental rights including but not limited to the right of access to justice, treatment in accordance with law, life, liberty, dignity, due process of law, a fair trial, and equal protection of law.

He maintained that the petitioner came back to Pakistan along with his daughter voluntarily in respect of the rule of law and surrendered to order of imprisonment and thereafter sought bail upon suspension of sentence in due course of law, he did not jump the concession of bail and went abroad with the permission of the Court which permission was never recalled.

The counsel further said that the above conduct of the petitioner is inconsistent with hypothesis of any guilt, petitioner’s voluntary return to Pakistan to face the trial and again after announcement of judgment of conviction dated 06-07-2018 in ACR No 20/2017 and his surrender to due process of law are sufficient and self-explanatory of his resolve for respect of rule of law.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Parvez Oct 24, 2023 11:58am
Can a lower court overture something done by a higher court ? But then this is the Pakistani justice system ( in overdrive ) and it's none other than the now " famous " IHC at the wheel. Sadly all what is happening is happening under the nose of CJ Issa who recently came riding in on a white horse named Justice.
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