ISLAMABAD - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif Monday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking exemption from his personal appearance before the court during hearing of his appeals in the Al-Azizia, Flagship Investment and the Avenfield references while Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar have filed applications for adjournment of the hearing of the same cases scheduled to be held today.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani would also take up these applications besides hearing the main appeals of Sharif family in these references.

In his exemption plea, Nawaz Sharif said that initial medical examination and diagnosis preparatory to the applicant’s treatment were conducted and treatment options for the multiple ailment from which the applicant was suffering were being finalized and further progress in this regard came to a halt on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that due to this, not only the applicant’s progress towards treatment was stalled, but also, on account of his old age, and critical medical condition, he was further forced to predominantly confine himself indoors. 

The former prime minster mentioned, “However, in terms of honourable Lahore High Court’s order dated 16-11-2019, periodical medical reports of the applicant showing that he had still not regained his health were continuously filed with the learned Registrar of the Lahore High Court.”

He adopted that after rejection of his request of suspension of his sentence on account of medical condition by the Punjab government, his counsel advised him that since the bail granted to him by this court stood revoked the moment the Punjab government rejected his application, any petition filed by or on his behalf against the order of the provincial government would be futile unless he was personally present in court.

Sharif’s counsel pointed that whether the applicant had regained his health and is fit to travel to Pakistan constitutes one of the core issues that is sub-judice before and will inevitably be adjudicated upon by the LHC.

The application said, “The Applicant unequivocally assures this Court that he is held up in London and is unable to return to Pakistan because of his critical medical condition and because the doctors treating him have advised him to remain in London for his treatment and not on account of disrespect for or in defiance of law.”

Therefore, Sharif prayed to the court that it may dispense with the personal attendance of the applicant. He also request that the court may either adjourn the appeals or his pleader be heard in support of his appeal envisaged by section 423 CrPC.

Similarly, Maryam and her husband also approached the IHC seeking adjournment of their appeals in this matter. Their counsel Amjad Pervez stated in the application that he is on general adjournment till September 5 due to which he is unable appear before the court.

Therefore, he requested the court that the appeals may be fixed for some other date in the interest of justice.