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December 8, 2018

SC asks AC to decide references against Sharif family by 24th

Top Story

December 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the accountability court to conclude by December 17 the hearing in the remaining two corruption references filed against the Sharif family and announce its judgment by December 24.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the petition filed by the Accountability Court II Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik, seeking an extension for deciding the Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references against the Sharif family.

The court directed Khawaja Haris, counsel for Sharif family, to ensure completion of his arguments in the matter until December 17 and directed the accountability court to announce the verdict by December 24 in Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references.

Khawaja Haris sought further time, contending that he was yet to present his arguments before the accountability court. The chief justice expressed reservations over the repeated requests by the counsel seeking more time aimed at prolonging the case. The chief justice asked Khawaja Haris whether someone was telling a fairy tale in the accountability court.

“You have held the entire nation and the court hostage by prolonging the case,” the chief justice told Khawaja Haris, and further asked if the counsel cannot complete the work well on time, he should not engage himself in a case.

Khawaja Haris replied that he doesn’t have the energy the chief justice has. “Have you received a complaint from the accountability court,” Khawaja Haris asked, to which the chief justice replied that they did not, but an impression was being given that the counsel was delaying the matter.

Khawaja Haris then replied that he could even quit the case. The chief justice said that leaving the case also means delaying the matter, but he will not let him boycott the case. “In my opinion it is inappropriate to assume that I am using delaying tactics,” Khawaja Haris contended.

Meanwhile, to a court query, Khawaja Haris submitted that he will conclude his arguments by December 17 which the court accepted and directed the Accountability Court to conclude until December 17 the hearing in remaining two corruption references and announce the verdict by December 24.

Earlier, on October 12, the court had extended the time for the sixth time and directed the accountability court to conclude until November 17 the corruption references filed against the Sharif family with clear-cut direction that after this no further time would be granted.

An accountability court on July 6 found former premier Nawaz Sharif and two of hisappeared before the court. He said the federal government was to release Rs 46 billion for the dam\s construction. About 51 per cent of the project had been completed, but the Sindh government was saying that it was not needed anymore, he added.

The CJ asked the additional attorney general whether the federal government had released funds for the dam. On this, the additional attorney general replied that the Sindh government had changed its approach and was reluctant to undertake the construction of the dam.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Friday conducted hearing of case regarding implementation on water conference declaration. During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said withholding tax on mobile phones cards and tax mineral water can generate Rs36 billion and Rs7 billion respectively. The CJP further said that the court means to help the government collect funds for dam construction.

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