LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Supreme Member Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference number The punishment was suspended by the Punjab Caretaker Cabinet, as announced on Tuesday.
The decision of the state cabinet may cause concern among other political parties in the country.
Caretaker Information Minister Aamir Mir confirmed the move of the Punjab Cabinet and said the decision was taken in exercise of constitutional powers under Section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to pardon the offenders. He also said that he was authorized to do so.
Approval was granted via circular summary.
“The final decision in this case will be taken by the court itself,” he added.
The development comes on the day ahead of Nawaz’s multiple hearings at an accountability court at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) and the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Nawaz Sharif’s sentence was also suspended under the same law on medical grounds before he left for London in 2019 by the then PTI government.
The PML-N supremo had requested for his sentence to be suspended by the Punjab cabinet, Mir said.
It should be noted that Nawaz was sentenced by an accountability court in both the Avenfield and Al-Azizia Steel Mills references.
The sentence was then challenged in the high court, which had suspended the accountability court’s sentence. Appeal proceedings — for the petition challenging the sentence — were underway when the politician travelled to London, United Kingdom, for medical treatment and did not return to pursue the case.
The PML-N supremo — after he moved to Lahore High Court (LHC) instead of the IHC — was allowed to go abroad for four weeks after his brother and party president Shehbaz Sharif submitted an undertaking in the court assuring Nawaz’s return once his health improves.
The IHC — in Nawaz’s absence — threw out the appeals on account of non-prosecution. The court, while declaring him a proclaimed offender, noted that the appeals were rejected on technical grounds and not on the merits of the arguments.
The applicant can once again file an appeal against the sentence upon his return, the court had mentioned in its verdict.
CM Punjab blames Buzdar for rejecting Nawaz’s application.
Commenting on the suspension of Nawaz’s sentence by the Caretaker Cabinet, Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said that a request had been submitted to Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf government, then led by Usman Buzdar. However, the Buzdar government refused.
The caretaker prime minister, while talking to reporters at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore, said the government had only referred Nawaz to court.
“Now the court has to decide whether to release him on bail or not,” he told reporters regarding the PTI government’s decision to reject the PML-N Supreme Court’s application in the past.
The Interim Prime Minister said that the government had referred the application to the court because there had been similar cases under section 401 before.
When Nawaz arrived at the accountability court, he was called to the rostrum to mark his appearance, after which the judge allowed him to leave if he wanted to.
However, while Nawaz appeared before his IHC, the PML-N supremo’s lawyer was present in court for further proceedings.
The Accountability Court judge said the hearing should take place today and asked about the plaintiff.
“Rana Muhammad Irfan is the complainant appearing before the court,” the lawyer said, assuring the court that Nawaz would appear before the court as per the order.
The judge then adjourned the Toshahana case until November 20 for arguments in the asset seizure appeal. He also suspended the arrest warrant of the PML-N supremo in the case at the request of NAB prosecutors.
The court, while issuing notice to NAB about the asset attachment application, said, “A copy will be distributed at the next hearing.”
Earlier today, Nawaz was scheduled to appear at the Accountability Court of the Federal Judicial Complex for the hearing of Toshkana Reference.
Ahead of the appearance of Responsible Judge Muhammad Bashir in Islamabad today, the bomb squad completely cleared and searched the courtroom for security reasons.
Large squads of Islamabad police were also deployed inside and outside the federal judicial complex in the capital where the Toshahana case against him is scheduled to be heard today. Only relevant lawyers and journalists are allowed access to liability courts.
The court then stayed the PML-N Supreme Court’s existing arrest warrant in this case. According to the court order, if Nawaz fails to appear before the judge today, the above arrest warrant against him will be reinstated.
Pakistan Peoples Party Co-President Asif Zardari and Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani are also co-accused in the case.
Mr. Nawaz’s lawyer, Qazi Misbah, is representing him in this case and has filed three separate applications with the Accountability Court on his behalf. Appointment of Nawaz’s lawyer in this case. and requests for bail for politicians.