Objections raised over Maryam's Avenfield acquittal plea

IHC says PML-N leader's plea similar to main petition; can only add fresh grounds with court's permission


Saqib Bashir October 05, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) registrar on Tuesday raised two objections over Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s miscellaneous plea seeking acquittal in Avenfield Apartments case.

According to the registrar, Maryam’s plea contains the same request made in the main petition. The registrar's office observed that the accused can only provide fresh grounds in the plea after permission from the court.

A special bench of the IHC will hear the PML-N leader's plea along with the objections raised by the registrar's office today (Wednesday). The bench comprises Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.Separate plea

Earlier in the day, Maryam had filed a separate petition in the high court against the verdict given by an accountability court in the Avenfiled Apartments case.

Maryam, through her counsel Irfan Qadir, urged the high court to declare the accountability court's decision in the Avenfield Apartments case void over "serious violations".

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Maryam and her father former prime minister Nawaz Sharif were convicted in the case on July 6, 2017, by Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir, who sentenced them to seven and 10 years, respectively in jail. The IHC later suspended their sentences.

In her plea, Maryam also alluded to a speech made by former judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui during a bar address. In the speech, Siddiqui had alleged that the SC was being controlled from “the outside” while hearing the Avenfield case. He was subsequently sacked over misconduct.

The petition also raises questions on the Supreme Court's role in the case. Maryam said the SC supervised the investigation as well as prosecution in the case that was unprecedented.

"The court’s role in the Constitution is neither that of an investigator nor that of a prosecutor," the PML-N vice president added.

She said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three separate references in the assets beyond means case which was a violation of the law. She said that NAB failed to act in a transparent manner, adding that these references and the subsequent trial could have been a result of coercion.

She requested the court to quash the sentences handed down in the Avenfield case over serious violations of the law.

 

 

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