LAHORE - A two-judge Lahore High Court (LHC) bench on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal seeking the right of review petition for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif disqualified in Panama Papers case.

The LHC bench consisting of Justice Shahid Kareem and Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh refused to take up the petition requesting that the right of filing a review petition against the verdict of Panama case against Nawaz be granted. AK Dogar Advocate, the petitioner, claimed that the former prime minister was not given the right to appeal under the Article 184 (3), which is against law. The petition stated Every individual has a legal and constitutional right to appeal. The petition submitted that the prior order disqualifying the supreme leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz should be declared null and void.

The infamous Panama Papers case was initiated in 2016 against the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The findings of a Joint Investigation Team in the Panama case strengthened the case and led to the ouster of Nawaz from the public office.

At present, Nawaz Sharif is imprisoned at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. An Islamabad-based accountability court on December 24 had sentenced him to seven years imprisonment in Al-Azizia Steel Mill reference in connection with Panama case.

LHC issues notice in plea against NAB

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued notice and sought a reply from the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a petition filed against accountability watchdog’s authority to arrest a suspect without completion of investigation.

The LHC also summoned attorney general of Pakistan for assistance in the petition.

Earlier during the last hearing, the petitioner’s counsel AK Dogar stated that arrest of an accused during investigation and trial was against the Article 10 of the Constitution.

The law safeguards as to apprehension and detention for two reasons; no person could remain in custody unless he was informed of the grounds of his arrest since grounds could only be established after investigationa was completed. And other is no investigation is constitutionally valid unless an accused had been granted the fundamental right to consult and be legally defended, the petitioner said.

Article 10(1) says “No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon asmay be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor  shall  he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.”

The accountability watchdog has a constitutional obligation not to deny an accused his right to consult and be defended by a lawyer during investigation, he said.

He stated that section 24 (a) and (d) of the NAB Ordinance 1999 was in violation of article 10-A of the Constitution.