ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court will today hear the appeals of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption cases.
A two-member division bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb will hear the appeals. The court’s registry office has also issued a circular on the security of the hearing.
Following the security circular, Inspector General of Police Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan, as well as the administration of the federal capital, including the chief commissioner and deputy commissioner, were directed to ensure security arrangements.
“In order to ensure that regular cases are not affected and the litigants/learned advocates appearing before the Islamabad High Court are not disturbed, the ICT Administration/DC/DM and IGP Islamabad are ensuring that proper administrative and Security precautions will be taken to ensure that the decorum of the Honorable Court is maintained,” the circular said.
The circular states that no uninvolved person is allowed to enter the courtroom, while access to the courtroom is only possible if an ID card is issued by the registry office.
It added that in the above cases, the applicant’s lawyers are also required to provide a list of not more than 15 lawyers and persons for the issuance of entry permits. Meanwhile, the offices of the Attorney General and Advocate General of Islamabad can submit a list of five judicial officers each, with a total of ten people allowed in the courtroom.
The court will not allow more than 30 journalists in the courtroom to attend the hearing, it added.
Previously, the PML-N supremo’s appeals were dismissed by the same court after he traveled abroad to seek medical treatment. Sharif recently returned to the country after receiving protective bail in the cases.
He subsequently surrendered in court, after which his appeal was restored. The National Accountability Bureau also raised no objection to granting bail to the PML-N leader and reopening his appeal cases.
Sharif was sentenced to seven and 10 years in prison, respectively, by an accountability court in Islamabad in 2018 in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases. In his appeals, he asked the IHC to overturn the decisions of the court of first instance. His daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar, who were convicted as co-accused, have already been acquitted by the appeal court.