ISLAMABAD– The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against suspension of sentence awarded to former premier Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield Reference case.
Reportedly, a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar announced the judgement and maintained the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) of granting bail to Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law captain (Rtd) Safdar.
During the case hearing, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar inquired from the NAB prosecutor about the grounds on which a bail could be cancelled.
“You have approached the court for bail cancellation. So, what are the reasons?” he said.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa pointing towards the NAB prosecutor said that you have stated that the IHC had keenly examined the substantial evidences in the case.
“Is this the rule of bail cancellation?” he asked, adding that unfortunately the accused person is serving the jail again.
“We cannot determine why you have been insisting for bail cancellation,” he added.
“The second accused person in the case is a woman, while the law facilitates bail for women, whereas the third accused person has not been served any notice” he said.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry expressed his views on the dismissal of the appeal, and said that the judgment was correct ‘constitutionally’.
“The cancellation of bail requires extraordinary reasons. The decision has not effected practical situation in anyway. Nawaz Sharif’s political career has ended forever,” he said, adding that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is an influential political party of Pakistan which needed a new leadership.
The accountability court on July 6, 2018, sentenced Sharif to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in the Avenfield properties case. The sentence extended to his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Safdar with 7 years and 1 year of imprisonment, respectively.
The court had also imposed eight million pound fine on Sharif, while a fine of two million pound was imposed on his daughter Maryam.
On July 13, 2018, Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on their arrival from London to Lahore, and subsequently were taken to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
However, on September 19, 2018, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended their jail sentences, and ordered their release on bail with an immediate effect.
Later, the NAB challenged the IHC’s ruling in the SCP.