ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau in a petition filed by former premier Nawaz Sharif against his joint indictment in three NAB references.

The division bench of IHC, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, conducted hearing of the petition of the former prime minister and directed the NAB to submit his reply on the next hearing.

The court also directed the petitioner to submit the charge sheet against Nawaz Sharif in the references relating to Avenfield properties, establishment of Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Company and Flagship Investment. Later, the court adjourned the proceedings until November 2.

Nawaz Sharif moved this petition through his counsel and nominated the state through the NAB chairman and the Islamabad Accountability Court judge as respondents.

In his petition, Nawaz Sharif stated that the petitioner is the former prime minister and through this petition, he seeks protection of his fundamental rights guaranteed under articles 4, 9, 10-A and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

He stated the NAB filed three references against him under Section 9(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, before the Islamabad Accountability Court.

The petitioner stated that same allegations were repeated in the three references. He contended a bare perusal of the contents of each of the three references proves that they pertain to the allegation of commission of an offence by him or any of his dependents or benamidars owning, possessing or having acquired right or title in assets and pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income.

“Similarly, each of the three references is supplemented by the same nine volumes constituting the JIT report while six out of nine witnesses in Reference No 18/2017 are the same as six of the 13 cited in reference No 19/2017 and two out of 10 witnesses in Reference No 20/2017 are common to reference Nos 18/2017 and 20/2017,” maintained the petitioner.

He argued one reference could be brought against the petitioner on the basis of the allegations made in each of the three references and he can only be tried once on the basis of the said allegations.

Therefore, Nawaz Sharif prayed to the court to set aside the order of the accountability court dated October 19 of framing the charges separately in the three references against him by rejecting his application for framing joint charge in these references.

He requested the court to direct the judge to frame a joint charge against him. He further prayed to the IHC to suspend the proceedings before the accountability court until framing of joint charge against him.