ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Curt (IHC) will today (Monday) take up a petition of former prime minister and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif challenging his non-bailable arrest warrants issued by an accountability court and requesting the court to permit him to join the Toshakhana reference proceedings through his pleader.

A two-member bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq will conduct hearing of the petition of Sharif, who is currently in the UK and is facing a case related to securing a luxury vehicle from Toshakhana.

According to the reference, Nawaz Sharif as well as former president and co-chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari had obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of the luxury vehicles. The NAB alleged that ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Sharif by ‘dishonestly’ and ‘illegally’ relaxing the procedure for the acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a Cabinet Division memorandum of 2007.

The accountability court-III of Islamabad had issued non-bailable warrants for the PML-N leader for not attending the court proceedings in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.

It said, “Knowingly that the petitioner is not in Pakistan and at the time of filing reference and summoning the accused, the petitioner is out of the country for medical reasons after fulfilling all legal formalities, the respondents were misled by the investigation officer.”

The petition maintained, “The bailable, non-bailable arrest warrant and further proclamation under Section 87 of CrPC is the impugned interference in the life and liberty of the petitioner and he has been deprived of his constitutional and fundamental rights, because the petitioner did not conceal himself from any process of the law. The petitioner always holds the rule of law supreme in his life.”