ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Curt (IHC) Thursday disposed of former prime minister and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s petition challenging his non-bailable arrest warrants issued by an accountability court after he withdrew it.

A two-member bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition of 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 and accepted his request to withdraw the same.

During the hearing, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Barrister Jahangir Jadoon requested the court to withdraw his petition. The court asked about the status of the former prime minister’s bail in the Al-Azizia reference. Jadoon informed that he has only been asked to withdraw the aforementioned petition.

At this, the IHC bench accepted Nawaz’s request and disposed of the petition. In his petition filed through Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon, Sharif, who is currently in the UK and is facing a case related to securing a luxury vehicle from Toshakhana, made NAB Chairman, judge of the accountability court-III and the investigation officer in Toshakhana reference as respondents.

According to the reference, Sharif as well as former president and co-chairperson of 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 proceeding in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.

The petition contended that the IHC granted Nawaz Sharif bail on October 29, 2019 on medical grounds, yet the accountability court judge initiated the process to declare the leader of the main opposition party a proclaimed offender under Section 87 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC). It recalled that Sharif did not abscond but went to the UK on November 19, 2019 for medical treatment “with the approval of the government of Pakistan.

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.”

According to the reference, Sharif as well as former president and co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari had obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of the luxury vehicles. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alleged that ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani 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’s proceeding in the reference and had also initiated the process to declare him a proclaimed offender.