ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday rejected a petition moved by Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar seeking a delay in his indictment in a corruption reference, saying the petition was non-maintainable.
Safdar had argued in the petition that the indictment could not happen until at least seven days after his first appearance in court. Since it will have been only four days on October 13 since Safdar’s appearance, he had requested the IHC to cancel the indictment on Friday.
Hearing the matter, a division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Aurangzeb declared the petition non-maintainable. The bench asked the petitioner’s counsel if there is any Supreme Court order stating that charges cannot be framed before seven days, to which the counsel replied in the negative.
Safdar and his wife Maryam Nawaz had on Monday appeared before an accountability court in Islamabad. After the proceedings, the court had granted them bail, barred Safdar from leaving Pakistan without the court’s permission and set the date of their indictment for October 13.
Nawaz, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Safdar are expected to be indicted by the accountability court hearing corruption cases against them on Friday.
Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court also approved the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to declare Nawaz’s sons Hassan and Hussain proclaimed offenders and separated their proceedings in the three references filed against them. Their non-bailable arrest warrants, issued at the last hearing on October 2, remain in effect.
The accountability court is hearing a total of three corruption cases against the Sharif family filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case.
Accountability court will indict sacked premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Safdar Friday as the family members were summoned by the judge for the respective day.
While these three will be indicted, Hassan and Hussain will be summoned once again and their warrants have been affixed on the walls of NAB court.
Previously, the judge had allowed one-day immunity to Sharif family and summoned them on October 13. It was announced that the indictment will be heard on the day. The judge had expressed his fury over the absence of the members of Sharif family. The court had decided to separate cases of each member in order to differentiate between present and absent suspects.
On the other hand, Hassan Nawaz confirmed that his father will not return to Pakistan at the moment in the light of her mother’s chemotherapy and medical treatment.
Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz are nominated suspects in references regarding Park Lane apartments, Al Azizia Steel Mills and offshore companies, while Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar are nominated in reference regarding Park Lane apartments alone.
According to the affixed warrants of Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz outside court, they will be declared fugitives if they don’t appear before accountability court within the duration of one month.