ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif submitted additional documents before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a plea to stop the indictment proceedings against him in the accountability court.
Additional documents including charge sheets framed by the accountability court were submitted through Mr. Nawaz’s cousel in pursuance of the earlier court orders.
A two judge bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had already served pre-admission notices to the federation and accountability court seeking their reply and fixed the case for hear on November 2.
Former Prime Minister approached IHC through his duly authorized attorney Asif Saeed Kirmani and a legal team headed by Khawaja Haras Ahmad challenging charge sheet framed by the accountability court on October 19 in the Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references. The third and last charge sheet was framed in Flagship Investment Ltd on October 20.
The counsel for the petitioner contented that accountability court dismissed application of his client for framing a joint charge sheet in three references which was violation of fundamental right provided to Mr. Nawaz under Article , 4, 9, 10-A and 25 constitution of Pakistan.
He said that each of the three references were supplemented by the same nine volumes constituting the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report, while six out of the nine witnesses in Reference No. 18/2017 were the same as six of the thirteen cited in Reference No. 19/2017 and two out of ten witnesses in Reference No. 20/2017 were common to Reference Nos. 18/2017 and 20/2017.
The allegations as per the Investigation Reports framing the basis of the References, the petitioner’s defense vis-a-vis the allegations in each of the three References was substantially the same, Khawaja added.
Under such circumstances it was evident that only one Reference could be brought against the petitioner on basis of the allegations made in each of the aforenoted three References and Mr. Nawaz could only be tried once on the basis of the said allegations.
He alleged that order of the accountability court was based on gross mis-reading, non-reading of facts and mis-construction of law on which it was purportedly based.
He added that the alleged impugned order passed by the accountability court on October 19 had been passed in unholy hast and without adverting to law and was liable to be set aside.
The counsel requested the court to declare the accountability court’s decision illegal and sought direction for the trial court to combine three references against him into one adding that there should be one trial on one charge instead of separate cases.
He also requested the court to halt the accountability court proceedings of the three references until a single reference would be filed adding that petitioner had no other adequate alternative remedy available to his client.
It is pertinent to mention here that the accountability court is hearing corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau against Nawaz and his family members, as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in light of the Supreme Court’s order in the Panama Papers case.—APP