Merging of references: IHC to announce decision on Nawaz Sharif’s plea today

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is due to announce the verdict on ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea to merge all his National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references on Monday.

According to reports, a two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, will announce the verdict.

An accountability court in Islamabad suspended the hearing into corruption references filed against the Sharif family as it awaits the IHC’s decision in connection with clubbing of references. The hearing at the accountability court will resume after the decision is announced.

Earlier today, Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Mohammad Safdar had arrived at the accountability court where corruption hearings against them are underway. As the hearing began, Advocate Khawaja Harris requested the court to suspend proceedings till the IHC announces its decision regarding the clubbing of references.

Nawaz Sharif on Saturday petitioned the Supreme Court (SC) against its earlier rejection of his request to club the three accountability references against him into one, as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) is expected to announce its decision on a similar petition filed by Nawaz on December 4.

Nawaz had earlier petitioned the apex court regarding the clubbing of the corruption references, but the petition was rejected by the SC registrar.

The former PM then appealed against the registrar’s decision, saying that filing three separate references was “illegal, and violates the law and the constitution, besides being violative of his [Sharif’s] fundamental rights”. Subsequently, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar held a chamber hearing of the petition and upheld the registrar’s decision, refusing to order the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to club the references together.

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In the fresh petition, Nawaz appealed to the apex court to consider the registrar’s objections and the chamber ruling on the matter null and void and to create a new bench to hear the petition.
The application noted that the SC, under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, could declare any verdict against the law and so the earlier ruling on the clubbing of references could be considered void.

The application also said that if a verdict is challenged, the court is bound to restart proceedings on the matter.
The Federation of Pakistan, NAB, the accountability court, Nawaz’s children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, and his son-in-law Captain Safdar have all been named respondents in the appeal.

IHC TO ANNOUNCE VERDICT:

Meanwhile, a two-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani is expected to announce its verdict that it had reserved on Nov 23 regarding the petition filed by Nawaz to club the three accountability references moved against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an accountability court.

Nawaz had initially requested the court to club the three corruption references into one case, but his lawyer had later asked the court to club at least two of these references.

The bench had stated that it would provide a detailed verdict rather than a short order on the case.

Nawaz is facing three corruption references in the accountability court filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case which led to his disqualification.

Earlier, the accountability court had rejected Nawaz’s repeated requests to club the references, after which the former premier petitioned the IHC for the same.

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The references had been filed on directives given by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case verdict.



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