Sharif takes back petition against arrest warrants


By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench on Thursday dismissed as withdrawn a petition filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif challenging his non-bailable arrest warrants issued by an accountability court in the Toshakhana reference.
The IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq took up the petition. The court dismissed the constitutional petition through which Sharif sought withdrawal of non-bailable arrest warrants issued against him in the Toshakhana case when his counsel Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon sought permission to withdraw it.
The former premier had also sought the IHC’s permission to join proceedings in the accountability court through a pleader. The accountability court, hearing the case on Aug 17, had allowed him to appear in court through his representative. At the previous hearing, the bench had inquired about the status of the bail granted to the PML-N supreme leader in the Al-Azizia reference. It noted that the removal of Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) was not ordered by the court, but the government. Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London, had moved the petition through Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon, citing NAB chairman, judge of the accountability court-III and the investigation officer in the Toshakhana reference as respondents. The petitioner stated that the IHC granted him bail on October 9, 2019 on medical grounds yet the accountability court initiated the process of declaring him a proclaimed offender under Section 87 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC).
The former premier said he went to the UK on November 19, 2019 for medical treatment with the approval of the government. Nevertheless, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued in the case, depriving him of his constitutional and fundamental rights as he didn’t conceal himself from any process of the law, he added. He requested the high court to declare the arrest warrants illegal and allow him to join the proceeding of the accountability court through his pleader. The accountability court of Islamabad had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Sharif over his failure to attend the trial proceeding in the case and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.