Al-Azizia case: IHC postpones hearing on Sharif’s petition

Says would serve notices on plea for suspension of sentence once main appeal is picked

Our Correspondent January 07, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has postponed for an indefinite time hearing on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's petition seeking suspension of an accountability court’s Dec 24, 2018 verdict in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

A division bench, comprising the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq, on Monday observed that the petition could not be heard until the appeal of the convicted person was finalised and fixed for proceedings.

Earlier, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris asked the court to hear the petition regarding suspension of verdict of the accountability court which sentenced Sharif to seven-year imprisonment while also imposing a fine.

Haris argued that the appeal has been fixed for hearing after the court's holidays, which are scheduled to end on Tuesday (today). Justice Minallah remarked that once the main appeal was picked for hearing, the bench would serve notices to the respondents on plea regarding suspension of Sharif's sentence.

“When the registrar office fixes the appeal, a notice will be issued. This application will also be fixed along with the appeal. The court will issue a suitable order about it,” noted Justice Minallah.

Two-judge IHC bench to hear Nawaz’s appeal against Al Azizia verdict

Sharif's counsel submitted a plea for the third time on last Saturday after removing objections of registrar office.  He earlier filed a plea in the IHC against Sharif’s sentence on January 1.

However, the IHC registrar had stated that the petition was incomplete and returned it. On January 3, Sharif filed another plea, but the IHC registrar returned it once again after citing reservations.

Full text of accountability court's judgment in Al-Azizia reference case

On Monday, the IHC also did not issue its reserved judegment on the initial hearing. A written order is expected today (Tuesday).  The IHC has been requested to grant bail to Nawaz Sharif until a decision on the appeal against the verdict is decided.



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