ISLAMABAD: A desperate National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday literally begged the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the petitions filed by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar seeking the suspension of Avenfield properties reference verdict are not maintainable and should, therefore, be dismissed with costs.
“NAB begs with all humility that the instant writ petition is not maintainable before this Hon’able Division Bench,” Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi stated in one of the para-wise comments filed against Sharifs’ petitions before the IHC.
Interestingly, the NAB prosecutor said Sharifs’ were convicted in the Avenfield Apartments’ reference by the accountability court on July 6 on the basis of “conclusive presumption”.
“The irrebutable and conclusive presumption for the purpose of establishing conviction has been essentially adhered [to] by the Learned Accountability Court,” he stated.
Subsequently, he stated, the judgment in lieu of the circumstances of the case does not merit to be suspended.
While raising objection on the formation of the division bench, Abbasi said the division bench formed to hear the writ petition is the sole prerogative of the high court’s chief justice but the petitioner is required to make such a request to the chief justice.
In the present matter, he said, no such exercise has been done by the petitioner, therefore, “NAB begs with all humility” that the petitions are not maintainable before the bench.
NAB termed most of the petitioners’ contents in the petitions “controverted”.
The NAB prosecutor maintained that documentary evidence adduced along with the ocular examination duly recorded by the trial court emphatically establishes the prosecution case, adding each and every objection on the receivability, relevancy, production and admissibility of documentary evidence have been cogently dilated by the trial court.
Sharifs counsel — Khawaja Haris and Amjad Pervaiz – have repeatedly maintained before the court that several objections raised before the trial court have not been decided in the judgment.
On the other hand, Abbasi argued that the prosecution discharged its burden and standard of proof as envisaged in the provisions of the NAB Ordinance of 1999 and proved the charges framed against the accused.
“There are no legal infirmities apparent on the face of the judgment” announced on July 6, he said, adding “deep appreciation of evidence” can only be considered in the appellate jurisdiction of high court and not during constitutional proceedings.
He added that appeals against the judgment is already fixed immediately after the conclusion of the summer vacations and, therefore, the suspension petitions may be held in pendency till the hearing of the main appeals.
Irked by the NAB’s failure to present arguments on August 16, the IHC’s division bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, imposed a fine of Rs10,000 on NAB for seeking adjournment instead of arguing after the petitioners had already concluded the arguments.
The bench had expressed extreme displeasure at NAB before slapping the fine and directed prosecutors to conclude arguments in the case on August 20 (Monday).
The court had directed NAB to file para-wise comments by Saturday. Earlier, the high court had turned down NAB’s application seeking adjournment on August 15.
In the pray, he said, the petitions are neither maintainable nor competent and they be dismissed with costs.
The IHC’s bench will take up the petitions on Monday and following NAB’s arguments, the court is expected to reserve verdict on Sharifs’ petitions.
Instant judgment following the arguments would determine if Sharifs would spend Eid at home or inside the jail, where they are serving out their sentences in the London flats reference