ISLAMABAD - The Accountability Court on Thursday dismissed the petition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to transfer the Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference from the court of judge Muhammad Bashir.

Earlier, when Judge NAB Accountability Court Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing in the reference, defence counsel Khawaja Harris of Sharif family filed a petition before the court requesting to shift the Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference to some other Accountability Court.

The defence counsel in his petition contended that he has no objection on the office of Accountability Court for administering hearing on the Steel Mills Reference but it is in line with law and prerequisite of the defence to shift Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference to some other Accountability Court. On this, Judge Accountability Court Muhammad Bashir remarked that in accordance with the law, a reference cannot be moved and shifted to other courts after conviction.

He also remarked that the relevant forum is high court when a reference had to be shifted to other court but if the Defence Counsel aims at shifting the reference to some other province then the Supreme Court is the relevant forum.

Judge Accountability Court while arguing with defence counsel Khawaja Harris also remarked that he would write down reservations of him in the order. On this, defence counsel Khawaja Harris contended that this court had already made its verdict in Avenfield Properties Reference and the things are similar in the Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference as already mentioned in the verdict on Avenfield Properties Reference. Therefore, he said, justice cannot be made. The defence counsel also contended before the court to issue orders on their petition pertaining to transfer of the case. Judge Accountability Court Muhammad Bashir remarked that he has no mandate to shift the reference to some other court after conviction.

Deputy Prosecutor NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi also opposed the petition of defence counsel for shifting Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference to some other court. He said that the conviction was made in this court and all the hearings held before this court, therefore this court should administer hearing on the Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference as well.

On this, defence counsel Khawaja Harris contended the court to adjourn the hearing till Tuesday so that they can consult the relevant forum.

On which Judge Accountability Court adjourned the hearing in the Al-Aziziya Steel Mills Reference till Tuesday and dismissed the petition of defence counsel to shift the case to some other Accountability Court.