In Al-Azizia reference, Punjab suspends Nawaz Sharif’s sentence

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In Al-Azizia reference, Punjab suspends Nawaz Sharif’s sentence. There has been a continuing controversy in the Punjab as the interim government suspended the sentence of Nawaz Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in the Al-Azizia reference. Other political parties are likely to raise concerns as a result of this action.

In light of this, a summary was approved through the circulation of a document.

Using the constitutional powers of Section 401 of the Criminal Procedural Code (CPC), which also allows the cabinet to pardon any offender, Caretaker Information Minister Aamir Mir confirmed the decision that the former premier’s sentence would be suspended. This decision was confirmed by Aamir Mir, the Caretaker Information Minister.

The court itself will be the final authority on the case, Mir said, adding that it is up to it to make a decision.

There is a problem with Nawaz’s schedule because he is expected to attend multiple court hearings at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as part of the accountability court proceedings.

It was also suspended under the same law by the then government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PTI) in 2019 before Nawaz Sharif left for London on medical grounds.

Earlier this year, the PML-N supremo had requested that the Punjab cabinet suspend his sentence, according to Mir.

As a matter of fact, it should be noted that both the Avenfield Steel Mills case and the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case were decided by accountability courts.

After the accountability court’s sentence had been suspended by the high court, the sentence was then challenged in the high court. The actor attended a medical conference in London, United Kingdom, for treatment, but did not return to his post to continue the appeal proceedings, which were underway when he travelled to London for medical treatment, not returning to the case to pursue it.

After he transferred to Lahore High Court (LHC) instead of Islamabad High Court (IHC), the PML-N supremo was granted permission to go abroad for four weeks after his brother Shhbaz Sharif, who is the party president, entered an undertaking in the court that assured the court that Nawaz Sharif will return once his health improves.

On the grounds of non-prosecution, the IHC dismissed the appeals on the grounds of non-prosecution in Nawaz’s absence. While declaring the defendant to be a proclaimed offender, the court noted that the appeals had been rejected on technical grounds, rather than on the merits of the arguments made by the defendant.

The court had stated in its verdict that upon the applicant’s return, he or she will be able to file an appeal against the sentence once again.

Toshkhana case proceedings have commenced

The judge allowed Nawaz to leave the accountability court after he had been called to the rostrum as a sign of his attendance and then told the court that he could leave at any time if he so desired.

It is to be noted that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s counsel was present in the courtroom for further proceedings, while Nawaz left for the International Humanitarian Court.

According to the accountability court judge, the hearing will be held today and the pleader will be asked about the hearing.

Rana Muhammad Irfan is the defendant’s lawyer, and he has been present in court today with the pleader, Rana Muhammad Irfan, assuring the court that Nawaz will appear in court in the event that he is ordered to do so.

Following that, the judge adjourned further proceedings in the Toshakhana reference until November 20, calling for further arguments to be presented on the appeal related to the confiscation of property. Following a request from the NAB prosecutor, the PML-N supremo’s warrant in the said case was also suspended.

During the hearing on the property confiscation request, the court issued a notice to NAB that copies would be distributed to them during the next hearing.

In the Federal Judicial Complex, Nawaz was scheduled to appear for an accountability hearing on the Toshkhana reference earlier today. The hearing would take place at the Federal Judicial Complex’s accountability court.

It was necessary for the bomb disposal squad in Islamabad to empty the courtroom and to search it in order to ensure the safety of the defendant when he appeared before the accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir in Islamabad today.

It is also noteworthy that a significant number of Islamabad Police personnel have been deployed at both the inside and the outside of the Federal Judicial Complex in the capital, where the hearing of the Toshakhana case against him is scheduled for today. Those who wish to take part in the accountability court will only be able to do so if they are lawyers or journalists.

In the meantime, the court has suspended the PML-N supremo’s permanent warrant in the case until further notice in the case. If Nawaz fails to appear in front of the judge today, according to the court’s decision, the aforementioned warrant against him will be reinstated if he does not appear before the judge.

Asif Zardari, the Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, and Senator Yusuf Raza Gilani, are also co-accused in the case.

Qazi Misbah is representing Nawaz in this case as his counsel. He has filed three different applications with the accountability court on his behalf, including a request for the reinstatement of PML-N supremo’s annexed property in the case; an application for the appointment of Nawaz’s advocate in the case; and a request to submit a bail bond for the politician.

Farooq H Naek, Zardari’s lawyer and a senior member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, appeared before the court in order to request that his client not be forced to attend the hearing.

An accountability court on Thursday suspended Nawaz’s arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case on Thursday, two days before he is due to return to Pakistan on October 21, with Aamir Nawaz granting protective bail in two graft cases, while his arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case was suspended.

It is expected that Nawaz will surrender before the IHC

A similar case against a reference made by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also been filed against the PML-N supremo, who is scheduled to appear before the Islamabad High Court on Monday and surrender.

According to the high court, the senior politician has already been granted protective bail to date, preventing him from being arrested in relation to the case. Nawaz had been given the security bond by the anti-graft body without any objection from them.

Taking into consideration all the appeals against the PML-N supremo’s conviction in the aforementioned case as well as the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases, the IHC’s Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb will conduct a hearing today on the appeals.

It is expected that the hearing will begin after 2:30 pm today. Appeals against convictions in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases will be heard by a special divisional bench while appeals against convictions in the NAB reference will be heard by the regular bench.

In the case of Avenfield and Al-Azizia, Nawaz moved the IHC on Monday, seeking the restoration of appeals against the verdicts of the accountability courts.

According to his counsel, the PML-N supremo’s appeals against the court’s decision to permit him to go abroad for medical treatment were rejected by the court due to non-compliance in November 2019 when he failed to return from London after being permitted by the court to go abroad for medical treatment.

According to the PML-N chief in his Avenfield petition, he was sentenced in absentia on July 6, 2018 in relation to a case relating to Avenfield as he was not able to attend a hearing because his wife was undergoing treatment at a hospital in London and was on the ventilator.

Nawaz said that his appeals against the references relating to Avenfield and Al-Azizia did not fail on merit, but rather were discarded because they were not in compliance with the law.

A PML-N stalwart involved in the corruption case of Al-Azizia Steel Mills was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment on Dec 24, 2018. He was transferred from Rawalpindi to Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail the next day, by the courts, after he was convicted in the corruption case.

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