IHC to take up NAB's plea today against change in Maryam, Safdar's indictment

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear today the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea challenging the removal of clauses related to submitting false documents from the charge-sheets of Mayram Nawaz and her husband in the Avenfield corruption reference.

Maryam, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, and her husband MNA Capt (retd) Safdar, are accused, along with other family members, in the Avenfield properties reference filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s Panama Papers case judgment.

‘Calibri font’

During a hearing of the reference on November 8, 2017, the accountability court had approved Maryam and Safdar’s plea regarding removal of the ‘Calibri font’ reference in their indictment.
Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir had ruled that the overall paragraph related to the Calibri font will remain in the indictment but ordered the removal of NAB law’s section 3-A which lists punishment for the alleged crime.
Maryam and Safdar had filed an application seeking a change in their indictment on the grounds that their charge-sheet mentions submission of a “false” document [wherein the Calibri font was used].
The application pleaded that the document cannot be considered false as the Supreme Court, in the Panama case judgment, had directed the trial court to first establish whether false documents were submitted and then take appropriate action.
In its July 28 verdict, the Supreme Court had said: “In case the Accountability Court finds any deed, document or affidavit filed by or on behalf of the respondent(s) or any other person(s) to be fake, false, forged or fabricated, it shall take appropriate action against the concerned person in accordance with law.”

However, NAB, in January this year, had challenged the accountability court’s order in the IHC.

A division bench will take up the case today.