ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday reserved judgment to announce later a plea moved by former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif challenging the trial court’s decision of not merging three references being heard by the Accountability Court against him.
A two-member IHC bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani reserved judgment when counsel for the litigants completed their arguments on the appeal moved by the former prime minister through his legal team headed by Khawaja Haris Ahmed, comprising Azam Nazir Tarrar, Saad M Hashmi and Zaafir Khan Tareen to set aside the trial court’s order of November 8.
Azam Tarrar pleaded before the court that all the three references filed against his client were supplemented by the same nine-volume report of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) while two witnesses were common in all the three references (18/2017, 19/2017 and 20/2017) and six witnesses were common in Reference No 18/2017 and Reference No 19/2017, he added.
Tarrar argued that the Accountability Court had passed the order without waiting for the detailed judgment of the august court in that connection. He argued it was against the fundamental right of his client and requested the court to direct the Accountability Court to frame a joint charge in accordance with Section 17 (d) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.
He apprised the court, since six witnesses out of total nine were the same in Azizia Steel Mills reference and
Flagship Investment Ltd reference, the trial court should club the two at-least as accountability court itself admitted that point.
He requested the high court to direct the accountability court to decide the matter afresh in line with
Section 17-D of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) and applicable laws.
He alleged that order of the accountability court order was apparently based on misreading, non-reading of facts and misconstruction of law.
Prosecutor General NAB, Sardar Muzafar objected that how the two references could be clubbed as trial court initiated examination of witnesses so the application of the accused had become infructuous.
Justice Aamir Farooq remarked that if recording of statements had been initiated then why not proceedings of the trial court should not be held till outcome of this petition.
Subsequently the court after completing arguments reserved judgment to announce it later.—APP