ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Accountability Court hearing corruption references against the Sharif family to complete the trial till December 24.

The top court reluctantly granted time to Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Nawaz Sharif, and directed him to complete arguments in both references, the Al-Aziziya Reference and the Flagship Reference till December 17.

“Khawaja Haris unequivocal, unambiguous and unconditional has undertaken to this court that he will complete the argument by December 17 at 4pm,” the order dictated by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar stated, adding “where after rebuttal and writing judgment, four days granted.”

Let the judgment be announced on latest by December 24, the bench ruled.

While dictating the order, the chief justice observed that this court is granting four days time after completion of arguments to the accountability court for verdict and Advocate Haris will complete his arguments by December 17.

It is the eight extension granted by the top court for completion of trial of corruption references. However, now the three-judge bench has ordered for the verdicts in the references.

The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the application of accountability court wherein it requested for extension of time for completion of trial in corruption references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with the top court’s July 29 Panama Case verdict

NAB Prosecutor Akbar Tarrar and Advocate Haris appeared before the bench. The prosecutor NAB informed the bench about the progress of trials. Advocate Haris also pleaded for granting the time.

The Chief Justice expressed displeasure on delay in concluding the trial and the requests of time and again extension and asked if the counsel, Advocate Khwaja Haris, is writing a love story.

The exchange of words in louder tones also took place between the bench and Advocate Haris on the time frame for completion of trial.

Advocate Haris seeking 10 working days contended that he will not argue the case if this bench would issue direction for conclusion of trial till December 10.

He pleaded to grant 10 working days for arguments in order to complete the case conveniently. However, the CJ stressed as to why the counsel is causing a delay in conclusion of the trial. He further remarked that he will not allow Advocate Haris again to boycott the proceedings and termed the argument as delaying tactic.

Advocate Haris questioned if the chief justice received any complaint that the case is being delayed by defendant side.

Negating it, chief justice remarked that the impression of delay in trial is being given by seeking more time.

On argument of 10 working days, the CJ remarked that there is no concept of working days and recalled that the judges of Supreme Court work even on holidays. “Yesterday this court heard the cases till 7:00 pm,” remarked chief justice.

Advocate Haris contended that he is unable to work continuously because he has not such energy level as that of the judges of this court. 

Chief justice told him if he cannot work then he should also not take the cases. Chief justice observed that the argument that the counsel will not appear is also a delaying tactic.

“If this is so, I will leave the cases,” responded Advocate Haris adding that, “but to say that I am delaying the matter is not appropriate.”

However, later the bench convinced and granted the time.

On December 3, the NAB prosecutor concluded his arguments in Al-Aziziya reference case before the judge of accountability court Arshad Malik. The reference is in the rebuttal stage.

Likewise, deposed Nawaz Sharif has submitted his statement under section 342 of CrPC in Flagship Reference.