ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on pleas submitted against the sentences of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar in Panama reference till June 23.
A two-judge bench, comprising Justices Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heard the appeals of Nawaz, Maryam, and her husband, retired Capt Safdar Awan, against their convictions in the Avenfield properties reference.
During the hearing, Justice Farooq said it was necessary to determine whether the court could hear the case on its merits.
Nawaz’s counsel, Azam Nazir Tarar, argued that the case could be heard by the court if the documents were available. He requested the court to see “Azam
Nazir Tarar, Amjad Pervez (counsel for Maryam and Safdar) and Nawaz Sharif in the same way”, adding that according to the spirit of the Constitution and the law, the court could “take a decision that opens a clear window”.
“I will talk [without considering] my political affiliation. If the case against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was against someone else, it would not be remembered today. Political cases are mentioned not only in the books of law but in political history as well,” Tarar said.
“Examples are present where the high courts heard appeals in the absence [of the appellant] but then the Supreme Court declared it invalid. Both sides tried to convince the court. The Supreme Court has asked the Islamabad High Court to announce the judgement,” he added.
Tarar, who had in an earlier hearing suggested the court either adjourn the hearing till the return of ailing Nawaz from the UK or dismiss the appeal for non-prosecution, said the trial court’s decision would be maintained if the high court stayed the appeal at this stage.
“The trial was held in his (Nawaz’s) presence so the appeal should also be heard in his presence. If a decision is announced now and is overturned later, what will happen then?” he questioned.
“If the court does not listen to this appeal or dismisses it now, it will neither benefit nor harm someone.”
Tarar asked the court to decide the matter according to the law, saying we have to “take care of fundamental rights”.
The court adjourned the hearing till June 23.