ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau Saturday moved an appeal in the Supreme Court, requesting it to bar Islamabad High Court from giving its ruling on former premier Nawaz Sharif’s plea wherein he has sought suspension of the conviction in the Avenfield case.

The accountability court on July 6 convicted Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Safdar and his son-in-law Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield reference. However, the Sharif family challenged the verdict in the IHC through separate criminal appeals which are pending before the court.

Meanwhile, the convicts filed a petition in the high court, requesting it to suspend their convictions. On August 20, a division bench of the IHC ordered fixing the main criminal appeals which were eventually fixed for arguments on September 10.

Thereafter, Nawaz Sharif filed a writ petition under Section 561-A of CrPC, seeking its fixation for suspension of the conviction and postponement of his criminal appeal, the main appeal, in which he had challenged the accountability court verdict.

The writ petition for suspension of the conviction was fixed for preliminary arguments on September 10, but the IHC entertained the same without issuing a notice to the state. The IHC on September 10, after hearing Sharif’s application, reviewed its earlier August 20 order and postponed the proceedings on the main appeal. It had also ordered fixing for hearing the writ petition containing a request for suspension of the sentence.

The NAB, in its instant appeal, contended that a criminal application under 561-A of CrPC could not be filed as a writ petition. “It is not just and reasonable to pass an order on the aforesaid application without issuing any notice to the state,” the NAB contended in its appeal.

It further stated that it was unfair to pass an order in the criminal application filed under Section 561-A of CrPC without allowing the state to file a written reply and without even going through the relevant record.

It further added that the bench of the IHC could not review its own earlier decision while exercising its jurisdiction in the application under Section 561-A of CrPC.

Nawaz Sharif has not provided any cogent reason for seeking the relief and the application filed by him is not tenable under the law, the NAB’s appeal stated.

It further argued that the relief regarding postponement of the main appeal and hearing the application seeking suspension of the conviction was in contravention with the provisions of Section 32 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

“There was no justification for postponement of criminal appeal No 121/2018 and taking up the applications for suspension of the sentence when the said appeal was already fixed for hearing for arguments on the same day, i.e. 10-09-2018,” the NAB said.

It further stated that the IHC had gone beyond its jurisdiction by postponing the hearing of the main appeal, adding the proceedings in the court could not be controlled by the whims of the convicts.