Petition against Sharifs’ conviction
A Lahore High Court full bench on Monday directed the National Accountability Bureau to file its response by Wednesday [August 29] in a petition seeking the revocation of the punishment handed to the Sharif family members in the Avenfield properties corruption reference.
On July 6, an accountability court had awarded a 10-year prison sentence to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for owning assets beyond known sources of income. His daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar were also handed seven and one-year sentences, respectively.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Shahid Waheed also announced that the court would hear the petition on a day-to-day basis. Justices Atir Mehmood and Shahid Jameel Khan were the other members of the bench.
Noting the absence of NAB’s counsel in the court for the hearing, the bench ordered the bureau’s prosecutor to appear before it at the next hearing and submit a reply on behalf of NAB. “NAB is being given the final chance to submit its reply,” the bench cautioned.
Before adjourning the hearing till August 29, the court rejected three separate applications filed by lawyers seeking to become party to the case.
Senior lawyer A.K. Dogar had filed the petition assailing the conviction of the Sharifs, besides challenging the existence of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.
The lawyer pleaded that ousted premier Sharif and others had been convicted by a court which had no jurisdiction because the law under which it (court) had been created was a dead law.
He urged the LHC to suspend the operation of the accountability court’s judgement for being issued by a court that had been established under a non-existent law.
Challenging the validity of the NAO, Dogar argued that it had been promulgated by military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf under Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 1999 as well as Order No 9 of 1999.