IHC ponders over Nawaz Sharif’s appeal

-Questions whether the appeal of a proclaimed offender, could be heard by the Court

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday questioned whether the appeal of a person, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in a separate case, could be heard by the court.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, raised the question during the proceedings of a fresh appeal filed by Nawaz’s counsel yesterday, urging the court to “forgo” the requirement of his surrender in the Al Azizia case. The petition was filed by his lawyer Khawaja Haris who also submitted the former premier’s latest medical reports signed by Dr David Lawrence, a London-based consultant cardiothoracic surgeon.
Last week, the high court had directed Nawaz to appear before the court and surrender to the authorities by September 10 or face legal proceedings for absconding.
During today’s proceedings, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor informed the court that Nawaz has been declared a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana case. He said that any decision by the court in the present appeal would impact other cases in which Nawaz is nominated and that are being heard by accountability courts.
He further said that there are prior court judgements which say that appeals by a proclaimed offender cannot be heard.
The bench asked Haris if Nawaz was currently in a hospital, to which the lawyer replied in the negative.
Justice Kiyani noted that the former premier had not been admitted to any hospital in the past seven months.
He also pointed out that while the former prime minister was in London, the doctor, who issued that certificate submitted by Sharif’s counsel, was in the United States.
“If the patient is admitted to a hospital, it is understandable that they cannot become part of court proceedings. Nawaz Sharif is not admitted to any hospital,” he observed.