Staff Reporter Islamabad
The Islamabad High Court reserved its ruling on Wednesday on the matter pertaining to hearing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea challenging the Avenfield reference verdict with him being abroad.
The hearing on Nawaz’s, his daughter and Pakistan Muslim League-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar Awan’s pleas was conducted by IHC justices Amir Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.
Court’s adviser and Nawaz’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarrar argued that the right to a hearing is protected under the Constitution.
“As per my experience, pleas of people who were not present for their hearing were rejected without arguing the case’s merits,” the counsel added.
To this, Justice Kayani responded that an accused’s rights are not affected even if their plea is rejected.
“Pleas rejected on the basis of merit can still be appealed in the apex court,” the judge maintained.
The National Accountability Bureau, on the other hand, called for rejecting the elder Sharif’s plea against the Avenfield and Al-Azizia references.
However, NAB prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana argued that hearing Maryam and Safdar’s pleas was upto the court
The IHC after hearing the arguments reserved its ruling on whether it should hear the former premier’s plea in his absence.
On June 9, the IHC had given more time to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer to assist it in how to proceed further with his client’s appeal against the Avenfield case judgment as he was abroad.