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Nawaz Sharif-Maryam Nawaz to appeal on Monday

15 July, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: As the appeals against the conviction of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and retired Captain Safdar are likely to be filed on Monday (tomorrow), there is still uncertainty which bench would hear these appeals on a regular basis.

Lawyers for Mr Sharif met him in Adiala jail and obtained his signatures on the papers of attorney (Vakalatnama), sources privy to the legal team of the former PM told reporters.

The legal team will not only challenge the accountability court’s verdict of July 6 against the Sharifs, but they are also planning to file two more appeals against the law ministry’s notification for jail trial and for transfer of two pending references — Al-Azizia and Flagship — before accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir.

In the July 6 judgement, Judge Bashir acquitted Mr Sharif of the charge of corrupt practice, but convicted him, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar for owning assets beyond means and awarded 10 years imprisonment to Mr Sharif, seven years to Ms Maryam and one year to Mr Safdar.

The sources said the members of Mr Sharif’s legal team Barrister Saad Hashmi and Zafir Khan met him in Adiala jail where the former PM signed the Vakaltnama. Advocate Khawaja Haris would lead the legal team of Mr Sharif.

Likewise, Ms Maryam and her spouse signed their Vakalatnamas for Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, the lawyer who represented them in the accountability court.

Advocate Pervaiz will be assisted by Advocate Mohammad Aurangzeb and Saqlain Naseem.

The lawyers of the Sharif family will file three appeals against the conviction of Mr Sharif, Ms Maryam and Mr Safdar before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday.

Three miscellaneous applications would also be filed for suspension of verdict of Judge Bashir before the IHC the same day, the sources said.

The former PM’s legal team will also file the appeal against dismissal of an application by Judge Bashir of the accountability court, seeking transfer of Al-Azizia and Flagship references to another judge.

A separate petition against the notification issued by the caretaker government for conducting the trial of Mr Sharif in Adiala jail will also land in the IHC next week.

The IHC has constituted a two-member division bench that is likely to take up these appeals. The bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb would stand dissolved after July 19 as Justice Hassan is proceeding on the summer vacation with effect from July 19. Likewise, Justice Kayani is also going on leave from July 20.

Subsequently, in the week commencing from July 23, there will be two judges available in the IHC as per the official roaster issued by the IHC administration.

Hence, the division bench if constituted from July 23 would comprise Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui who happens to be senior puisne judge and Justice Aamer Farooq.

It may be mentioned that there are six judges in the strength of the IHC — Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aruganzeb.

The judges are on leave as the IHC on July 5 notified that the summer vacation would commence from July 9 and continue to Sept 9.

IHC Chief Justice Kasi short-listed the categories to be heard during the vacation according to which only pre-arrest and post-arrest bail matters, habeas corpus and the matter related to “urgent threat of irreparable loss” may be fixed before the available judges.

The subcommittee of the caretaker federal cabinet on Saturday recommended placing the names of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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