Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday filed a petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) requesting the court to forgo its order of surrender on September 10 in Al-Azizia reference.
The plea was filed by Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Harris wherein it prayed upon the court that in the absence of Nawaz Sharif, his representative counsel should be allowed to appear on his behalf.
Nawaz Sharif’s medical condition is not such that he can appear before the court; the petition prayed adding that IHC should withdraw its summons for the former premier.
Medical reports were also attached with Nawaz’s plea whereas the former prime minister had filed two miscellaneous petitions in Al-Azizia reference.
On September 1, Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed Nawaz to appear before it on September 10, warning that otherwise, it will declare him an absconder and also initiate action against those who acted as guarantors when the PML-N leader was granted bail by the court.
“We deem [it] appropriate that an opportunity be granted to the appellant [Nawaz] to appear before the court and surrender to the authorities before the next date of hearing.
“Failing this, proceedings would be initiated against him in accordance with law including but not limited to the provisions of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance, 1999,” said an order-sheet issued by a bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhar Kayani and Justice Aamer Farooq.
The IHC bench was formed last month to hear the former premier’s appeals against his conviction by a couple of Islamabad-based accountability courts in two NAB references.
Islamabad Accountability Court-I had sentenced Nawaz to ten-year imprisonment in Avenfield case in July 2018 while Islamabad Accountability Court-II had sentenced him to seven-year jail term in Al-Azizia case in December 2018.
An IHC bench granted bail to Nawaz in the Avenfield case in September 2018. The same court on October 29, 2019 granted him eight-week bail also in Al-Azizia case in view of his deteriorating health condition.
The former premier was later also granted the rare permission to fly abroad for medical treatment after the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the government to remove his name from the country’s no-fly list – the Exit Control List (ECL).
The politician had challenged his convictions in the IHC.
However, prior to hearing the appeals, the bench on Tuesday took up Nawaz’s application seeking exemption from appearing in the court during hearing of his appeals. In the application, Nawaz cited his health condition and argued that he is still getting medical treatment in London.