“Surrender, appear before the court”, IHC orders former PM Nawaz Sharif

The IHC bench was hearing appeals of former Premier

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Monitoring Desk:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday ordered former prime minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to “surrender and appear before the court” during the next hearing. The IHC division bench comprising Mr. Justice Aamer Farooq and Mr. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was hearing the appeals of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband, Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

During the hearing, Justice Farooq mentioned that the court was not declaring Nawaz Sharif as an absconder rather giving him a last chance to surrender and appear before the court.

The former premier had gone to London for medical treatment. He is yet to come back to face courts in the country in various corruption cases despite passing months.

Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed however, argued that by doing so, the court had decided that the former prime minister had to return to the country.

“Do you fear that Nawaz will be arrested at the airport?” asked Justice Kayani. “If that is the case, please inform the court.” His lawyer replied that he would do so if they feared such an occurrence.

Earlier, the court remarked that a lot of people had gathered at the premises. “If the coronavirus spreads, who will be held responsible? We have to take some precautions ourselves.”

Nawaz’s lawyer said that the former prime minister could not return to the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bench asked Nawaz’s lawyer to satisfy the court that the PML-N supremo had not absconded. “The appeal can only move forward when Nawaz appears before the court,” said Justice Kayani.

His lawyer maintained that Nawaz’s fresh medical reports had been received which would be provided once they had been verified by the Foreign Office. The court questioned whether Nawaz had challenged the order issued by the Punjab government. His lawyer replied that he had not because he was not in the country.

 

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