LAHORE - A full bench of the Lahore High Court Monday issued bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over his failure to attend court proceedings of a case seeking high treason action against PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif allegedly for scandalizing state institutions through an interview given to a section of media.
Headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, the court also issued directions for ensuring receiving of notices to Nawaz Sharif through superintendent of Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi and the interviewer Cyril Almeida through SSP Operations Islamabad. Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir are als0 members of the bench.
As the bench resumed hearing, no one appeared on behalf of the said three respondents although Shahid Abbasi had attended the court proceedings on the last date on June 29.
Justice Naqvi noted absence of Shahid Abbasi and observed he was supposed to appear in all following hearings of the case.
Counsel for the petitioner Azhar Siddique told the bench that the respondent Abbasi was reportedly in the city in connection with election campaign.
The bench issued bailable arrest warrants for Abbasi subject to furnishing bonds of Rs one million. Adjourning next hearing of the case till September 24, the court also issued fresh notice to Nawaz Sharif for his appearance.
Amina Malik of Civil Society Network had filed the petition pleading that former premier Sharif on May 11, 2018 during his interview to Dawn newspaper gave a statement that “those who attacked at a hotel in Mumbai actually belonged to Pakistan.”
The petitioner said a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) was held to discuss the ‘misleading’ media statement of the disqualified prime minister and after the meeting the then prime minister Abbasi met Sharif only to convey him the concerns of the military leadership and minutes of the meeting.
She said the act of Mr Abbasi was a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct. She pleaded that the disqualified premier committed sedition by rejecting the statement of the NSC and was liable for an action as directed in Constitution as well as in Pakistan Penal Code.