ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued notices to the federation and accountability court Islamabad seeking their reply in a plea moved by PML-N president Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to stop the indictment proceedings against him in the trial court.
Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsan Akhtar Kayani issued notices to the respondents and sought charge sheet framed by the trial court against the former prime minister as well on November 2, after hearing the preliminary arguments placed by the petitioner's counsel.
Nawaz Sharif approached IHC through his authorized attorneys and a legal team headed by Khawaja Haras Ahmad challenging charge sheet framed by the accountability court on October 19 in the Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references. The third and last charge sheet was framed in Flagship Investment Ltd on October 20.
During the course of proceedings, counsel for the petitioner informed the court that accountability court dismissed application of his client for framing a joint charge sheet in three references which was violation of fundamental right provided to Nawaz under Article 4, 9, 10-A and 25 constitution of Pakistan.
He said that each of the three references were supplemented by the same nine volumes constituting the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report constituted by the Supreme Court, while six out of the nine witnesses in Reference No. 18/2017 were the same as six of the thirteen cited in Reference No. 19/2017 and two out of ten witnesses in Reference No. 20/2017 were common to Reference Nos. 18/2017 and 20/2017, the counsel added.
The allegations as per the Investigation Reports framing the basis of the References, the petitioner's defense vis-a-vis in each of the three References was substantially the same, he added.
He pleaded that under these circumstances it was evident that only one reference could be brought against Nawaz Sharif on the basis of the allegations made in each of the afore noted three references and he could only be tried once on the basis of the said allegations.
He alleged that order of the accountability court was based on gross misreading, non-reading of facts and misconstruction of law on which it was purportedly based.
He added that the alleged impugned order passed by the accountability court on October 19, had been passed in unholy haste and without adverting to law and was liable to be set aside.
The counsel requested the court to declare the accountability court's decision illegal and sought direction for the trial court to combine three references against him into one adding that there should be one trial on one charge instead of separate cases.
He also requested the court to halt the accountability court proceedings of the three references until a single reference would be filed adding that petitioner had no other adequate alternative remedy available to his client.