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SC had no choice but to suspend IHC ruling in Avenfield reference case

07 November, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court had no choice but to suspend the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruling in the Avenfield reference case against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

A three-member bench headed by the chief justice resumed hearing of a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) petition challenging the IHC’s verdict of suspending the prison sentences given to Nawaz Sharif, daughter Mayram Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar in the Avenfield properties case.

In the hearing, the CJP remarked that the IHC verdict ‘destroyed the field of law’.

“What were the loopholes in the accountability court’s verdict? The suspects had to prove in front of the law how they made their assets and who owned them,” he said.

Counsel for the Sharif family Khawaja Haris said that the assets were owned by Nawaz Sharif’s eldest son.

“You have presented four stances in the case so far, from Qatari prince’s letter to other statements… This case should never have gone to trial, it was the apex court’s issue and it should have resolved it,” the CJP responded.

Present at the hearing, a special prosecutor of the anti-corruption watchdog told the bench that case facts could not be discussed during hearing of a constitutional petition, and sentences could not be suspended under writ jurisdiction.

During the hearing, Khawaja Haris asked Justice Nisar, who had recently undergone angioplasty procedure, to rest. To this, the chief justice remarked that he had resumed his court duties keeping in consideration the sensitivity of the case.

The hearing of the appeal was adjourned till November 12.

Last month, the anti-graft body filed a petition in the apex court challenging an earlier decision by the High Court suspending sentences given to Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar in the Avenfield properties reference.

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