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Pakistan

Web Desk
January 14, 2019

SC rejects NAB appeal against Nawaz, Maryam bail

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, Jan 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday rejected the appeal filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the suspension of sentences handed to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield reference.

A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard the case.

Rejecting the appeal, the SC ruled that the anti-graft body has failed to provide the ground for bail cancellation and that the Islamabad High Court had not exceeded its authority in granting bail.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that the convicts are already behind bars then why is NAB seeking suspension of their sentences.

The judge added that the bench is not interfering in high court order and that the relief is of temporary nature. They have not violated the relief granted to them, he observed.

The accountability court in July last year had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the NAB, handing Nawaz Sharif 10 years imprisonment for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the Bureau. His daughter was given seven years for abetment after she was found "instrumental in concealment of properties of her father" and one year for non-cooperation with the Bureau.

The father and daughter upon their return to Lahore on July 13 were arrested by the NAB authorities and shifted to the Adiala Jail. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) in September, however, granted them bail after suspending their sentences.

The corruption watchdog had subsequently filed an appeal — which was accepted by the SC — in which it contended that the IHC had failed to appreciate that, through its order, it had seriously prejudiced the case of the prosecution by holding that the trial court judgment suffered from obvious and glaring defects and infirmities and that the convictions and sentences handed down to the accused might not be sustained ultimately.