Thursday February 22, 2024

Toshakhana reference: Accountability Court orders auction of Nawaz’s seized properties

April 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court Islamabad on Friday ordered auction of seized properties of former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in Toshakhana reference.

The Accountability Court Judge Syed Asghar Ali heard the case and accepted the NAB application for auction of the properties of the former prime minister and ordered that wherever Nawaz Sharif’s properties are located the concerned provincial government can carry out the auction. The court directed the deputy commissioners of Lahore and Sheikhupura to submit a report regarding auction within 60 days.

The court also ordered the relevant authorities to submit the proceeds in the national exchequer after auctioning the properties of Nawaz Sharif. The court also ordered the auctioning of Nawaz Sharif’s vehicles within 30 days. The court said police’s help should be sought in getting hold of the vehicles before they are put on sale.

The court also directed the authorities to transfer all the funds from Nawaz Sharif’s bank accounts to the national exchequer. The court said only those properties, which have no objection against them, cannot be auctioned. The court earlier accepted former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s pleas for exemption from appearance. Later the court adjourned the hearing till April 28. On Thursday, Judge Syed Asghar Ali said the court would proceed on the NAB application to dispose of the unclaimed properties of Nawaz Sharif.

The application was filed by NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi. Referring to the accountability court’s order in which Nawaz Sharif has been declared a proclaimed offender in Toshakhana reference, Muzaffar Abbasi stated that despite a lapse of six months, the former premier did not surrender before the court.

It may be mentioned that NAB had submitted a report before the accountability court, stating that Nawaz Sharif owns shares in four registered companies, operates eight accounts, including three foreign currency accounts. In addition, the former prime minister has one Land Cruiser, two Mercedes cars and two tractors. His dependents also own properties in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Murree and Abbottabad.

Maryam Nawaz had already challenged the attachment of properties of the Sharif family in Murree and Changla Gali with other properties frozen in connection with the Toshakhana reference because of absconding of her father Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Nawaz filed the petition against the attachment of House No 24-A&B, III, Hall Road, Murree, and a house in Changla Gali, Abbottabad, in the Toshakhana case.

She stated in the petition that both houses were owned by her late mother, Kulsoom Nawaz. She said that the two houses had been purchased much before the period mentioned in the reference and after the death of the owner of the houses in question, the ownership devolved upon legal heirs as per judgement and decree dated May 14, 2019, and the houses are undivided properties in the joint ownership of all legal heirs.

According to the Toshakhana reference, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari had obtained vehicles from Toshakhana by paying only 15 percent of the price of luxury vehicles.

The NAB alleged that Yusuf Raza Gilani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif dishonestly and illegally relaxing the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a cabinet division memorandum of 2007. The Accountability Court-III of Islamabad had in May last year issued non-bailable warrants for Nawaz Sharif for not attending the court proceedings in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.