Accountability Court has no jurisdiction to summon Maryam Nawaz – Hashmat Habib

ؓBy Nasir Mahmood

“The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is a statutory body to eradicate corruption and corrupt practice but surprisingly it is being used to trap Maryam Nawaz by abusing the process of law.” Hashmat Habib President Tehreek e Tahafuz e Adlia said this while commenting on a news item that an accountability court on Tuesday summoned PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on July 19 for submitting a fake trust deed in the Avenfield property reference.

According to detail Judge Muhammad Bashir issued the summon notice to Maryam on a plea of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking her trial for allegedly submitting a fake trust deed in the London flats case. In its plea, the NAB said a separate trial of Maryam had to be conducted for submitting a fake trust deed during the trial of the reference.

It may be mentioned here that on July 6, 2018, the accountability court had sentenced former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to 10-year imprisonment after finding him guilty in the Avenfield properties case. In the same reference, Maryam was sentenced to seven-year imprisonment, while her husband Captain (Retd.) Muhammad Safdar was given one-year jail. Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar were released in September last year when the Islamabad High Court suspended their sentences.

The senior lawyer Hashmat Habib said; on complaint U/S 30 of NAO alleging false evidence notice has been obtained from Accountability Court No.1 having no jurisdiction. Maryum Nawaz stood convicted and appeal is pending before IHC.

Hashmat Habib referred section 30(a) NAO and said it does not authorize court to proceed against a convict. It is clear that court shall have the jurisdiction and power to take cognizance of an offence committed in the course of the investigation or trial of a case by any Officer, any Witness including an expert who has tendered false evidence. Nowhere accused or convict is mentioned. Hashmat Habib said after one year such action by NAB is even otherwise not admissible. On the other hand accused can file a complaint against an officer involved in false evidence, the senior lawyer added.

It may be recalled that in October 2018, the NAB had filed a plea with Supreme Court against the IHC decision stating that the IHC had not correctly examined the evidence in the case and hence its decision was liable to be declared null and void. The apex court had turned down the NAB’s plea.

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