- Apex court grants NAB court two months to conclude Sharifs’ trial, three months to wrap up Dar’s case
- Judges ask how absconder Ishaq Dar won Senate seat
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday extended the deadline of the trial against Nawaz Sharif in an accountability court by two months on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Justice Ijazul Ahsan inquired from the NAB’s counsel whether the Sharif family was using delay tactics at which he responded in the negative.
The three-judge bench also extended by three months the deadline for the accountability court hearing the illegal assets case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
The apex court, however, wondered how Dar was elected to the Senate when he has been declared an absconder by the court.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that when someone is declared an absconder he losses all his rights. Therefore, the right to contest to elections is also stripped away, he added.
“The accountability court judge gave reasons why the trial was not finalised but he did not seek specific time to conclude the trial,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan.
Former premier Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar, and sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz are all accused in the references filed by NAB.
All references filed by the anti-graft watchdog against the former prime minister and finance minister were to be concluded in three months.
An accountability court last year declared the former finance minister a proclaimed offender after he failed to appear before it despite repeated summons. A warrant was also issued for his arrest after he missed several court appearances on charges that he had amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.
Dar has denied all charges, as has former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who also faces corruption cases after being ousted by the Supreme Court in July.
ADDITIONAL ACCUSED IN DAR CASE SEEK DELAY IN INDICTMENT:
Earlier, two accused in the Ishaq Dar assets case filed a petition in court against their planned indictment on March 12.
The accountability court hearing the assets accumulation case against the former finance minister had on March 5 ordered to indict other accused in the case on March 12.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the legal counsel of the accused, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi, argued before the judge that NAB had provided their clients with a 700-page-long reference, many pages of which are unclear.
According to the lawyer, 70 of the 700 pages in the reference are in foreign languages.
The defendants prayed to the court that they could not be indicted until the provision of clear documents along with their translations.
The accountability court issued a notice to NAB to submit its response on the plea and will hear the matter on March 12, the next date of hearing.