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March 09,2018

AC judge gets three-year extension


ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court judge hearing the references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his family, former finance minister Ishaq Dar and others got three-year extension in his tenure.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered a two-month extension in the deadline for concluding the alleged corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family. Moreover, the court also extended the deadline by three months of the assets accumulation case against former finance minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar.

On July 28 last year, the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif and gave a six-month deadline to the accountability court to complete the trial against the Sharif family. Similarly, the court had ordered proceedings against Dar with the same deadline.

With that deadline ending on March 13, NAB had requested the apex court for an extension in the deadlines. A special bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan heard the plea on Wednesday. During the hearing Justice Ijazul Ahsan who was appointed the monitoring judge of the cases observed that the lower court judge did not inform them of the time needed to complete the proceedings.

NAB officials informed the court that two months are needed in the Ishaq Dar case whereas more than one month would be required to complete the Sharif family cases. The apex court was informed that 11 of 18 witnesses have recorded their statements in reference number 18, 12 of 27 witnesses are yet to record their statements in reference number 19 and only three of 18 are yet to record their statements in reference number 20. During the hearing Justice Ahsan also inquired how Dar could be re-elected as a senator when he is absconding in a court case.

It was informed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had rejected Dar’s nomination papers but a Lahore High Court (LHC) appellate tribunal had allowed the absconder to contest the elections.

“Did the judge not know that Ishaq Dar was absconding form the court?” Justice Ejaz Afzal asked. Justice Ijazul Ahsan on the other hand inquired whether the Sharif family was using delaying tactics in the case to which NAB’s counsel responded in the negative saying that no one had used delaying tactics in the case.

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