The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday gave a six-week extension for Accountability Court Judge, Muhammad Bashir, to conclude the corruption cases against the Sharif family and former finance minister Ishaq Dar. 

This is the fourth time the deadline for the high-profile cases has been extended since the trial started in September last year.

Earlier, on Monday, the accountability court had requested the Supreme Court for an extension in the deadline. 

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, was heading the two-member bench. The other member of the bench was Justice Ijazul Ahsan. During the hearing, Nawaz's counsel Khawaja Harris contended that the witnesses and evidence are similar in all three references against his client. Therefore, a different judge should hear the remaining two references after giving his verdict in the Avenfield properties case. 

Chief Justice of Pakistan disagreed with Harris who argued that the Avenfield judgment will have an impact on the other references. Justice Saqib Nisar observed that the cases will proceed on merit and the court will write in its order that the trial will not be prejudiced. 

The Chief Justice remarked that Harris' request will not be entertained while Justice Ahsan observed that the references are not similar.

Harris, however, argued that the accountability court Judge should hear his plea instead to which the chief justice agreed.

The court then gave the trial court six weeks to conclude the cases and observed that the deadline may be extended if the references are not concluded on time.

Last year in September, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three references against the Sharif family after the Panama Papers case verdict against Nawaz.  

Earlier, on July, the accountability court sentenced Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar to jail in the Avenfield properties reference. 

The remaining cases are related to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited.