IHC asks if Nawaz Sharif deserves relief after being declared fugitive


ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled on Thursday that it will decide on September 15 whether former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will get any relief or not.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was hearing appeals filed by the PML-N supremo against his conviction in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases. He had filed a plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in today’s hearing the other day.

During the hearing, Justice Kayani remarked, “Nawaz Sharif didn’t surrender, the game is over.”

The bench questioned how can the court proceed with his plea without his surrendering before it and directed both his lawyer Khawaja Haris and the NAB prosecutor to forward their arguments in this regard on next hearing.

Justice Kayani observed that Nawaz Sharif’s bail has been rejected while he has been declared a proclaimed offender in a graft case, asking if he deserves any relief in this situation.

The NAB prosecutor informed that Sharif can’t get any relief after being declared a proclaimed offender.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the ex-premier’s medical report, the court said he is in London while the medical certificate he has placed on record has been issued by a doctor who lives in the US.

Adjourning the hearing Until September 15, the judges observed that they will pass a detailed judgement in the case.

On September 9, the PML-N supremo through his lawyer Khawaja Haris today moved two miscellaneous applications in the IHC seeking exemption from personal appearance before it on medical grounds. He stated that he was unable to appear in court because of his ill-health.

At the previous hearing, the IHC had directed Sharif to appear before it on September 10 and warned that it will declare him an absconder over failure to turn up.  It also warned of action against those who acted as guarantors to secure the bail for the PML-N leader.

“We deem [it] appropriate that an opportunity be granted to the appellant [Nawaz] to appear before the court and surrender to the authorities before the next date of hearing,” the court had said in its order.

“Failing this, proceedings would be initiated against him in accordance with law including but not limited to the provisions of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance, 1999,” it said, adding:  “Admittedly, the appellant [Nawaz Sharif] is not on bail and is also not present in the court but has made an application for exemption from appearance due to medical reasons.”