Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the suspension of sentences awarded to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar — in the Avenfield reference.
A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard the plea.
The accountability court in July last year had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by NAB, handing the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and 1 year for not cooperating with the bureau.
His daughter was given 7 years for abetment after she was found "instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father" and 1 year for non-cooperation with the bureau.
Earlier, the top court had said that the IHC had spoiled the country’s jurisprudence by suspending the sentences awarded to members of Sharif family in the Avenfield verdict.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard a petition filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) challenging the IHC verdict.
Khawaja Harris appeared in the court on the behalf of the Sharifs while Akram Qureshi represented the anti-graft buster in the case.
During the hearing, the top judge remarked: “In the prima facie, there seems no other way apart from suspending the ruling of the high court”.
The chief justice asked Haris to tell about the flaws in the verdict given by the accountability court awarding jail terms to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar.
To this, the counsel for Sharif replied that the net worth of assets owned by his clients was not mentioned by the NAB, adding that onus of evidence lies on investigators.
Later, the top judge directed Haris to come with preparation in next hearing on Nov 12 and adjourned the case.
NAB had moved the apex court last month challenging the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict in which sentences awarded to the former prime minister, his daughter and son-in-law in the Avenfield reference were suspended.
The anti-graft buster in its appeals pleaded the court that the high court did not correctly examine the evidence in the case and hence its decision was liable to be declared null and void.