By Our Staff Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) adjourned the hearing of petitions filed by Sharif family members after the July 6 verdict in the Avenfield reference.
The defence counsel, Khawaja Haris, reiterated his earlier arguments and argued that all references have common witnesses, the presiding judge of the accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir has already disclosed his opinion on crucial aspects of the case and that the case should be transferred.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, the two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, specifically asked if there were case laws of previous judgments to support Haris’ arguments. At this, the lawyer said the case at hand is “unique” and “has no priors” and hence, it is difficult to find a similar case.
The defence counsel further informed the court that the matter was brought to the court’s notice both verbally and in writing, but the court decided to conclude a reference and not others.
The court scheduled the next hearing for August 2 when Haris will continue presenting his arguments. The prosecutor from the country’s anti-graft body will present his arguments after the defence counsel. The writ petition of suspension of the July 6 judgment was also scheduled for hearing today (July 30) but was fixed for August 2 due to lack of time.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Justice Aurangzeb remarked that a story published in an English daily a day after the last hearing (July 17) had inappropriate comments from “followers of Haris’ clients”. Justice Aurangzeb, expressing displeasure, said, “This isn’t the Supreme Court or the accountability court, we will proceed against the person, no matter who it is.”
At this, Haris questioned whether the legal team or their process was part of the story, and Justice Aurangzeb replied, “The client’s followers should be careful.
There will be no judicial restraint, as far as I know, everyone left the courtroom content. But there were inappropriate comments published the next day.