ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) to ascertain whether former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — currently abroad — has now become a fugitive in the eyes of law summoned the official records pertaining to the PML-N supremo.
The written order came from a special bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq during a hearing of Nawaz's request to appear through a representative in the Toshakhana reference.
Two appeals from the former premier were pending in this court, the bench noted, inquiring further as to what was the status of his eight-week bail.
Justice Minallah asked Nawaz's counsel whether his bail had expired and what was his status if it had been cancelled.
Justice Minallah asked Nawaz's counsel whether his [Nawaz's] bail had expired and what was his status if it had been cancelled.
Justice Farooq, on the other hand, remarked that the court had told the government of Punjab to look into the matter of bail extension; therefore, the bail the IHC granted to the accused had become ineffective.
As far as the IHC's verdict was concerned, the accused had apparently become a fugitive.
To which Nawaz's legal representative said the bail was still functional. A request had been submitted to the government of Punjab, the counsel added, noting that he did not have a copy of the order.
"First, tell us clearly if Nawaz Sharif has bail or not? Does the punishment meted out to Nawaz Sharif and suspended earlier still hold or not? Is Nawaz Sharif on bail or fugitive?"
In a written order, the IHC noted that the former PM's lawyer could not satisfy the court on the petition's admissibility.
The court had temporarily suspended Nawaz's sentence in the Azizia Steel Mills case on medical grounds in light of the medical board constituted by the Punjab government.
The written order said the court had not ordered the removal of Nawaz's name from the exit control list (ECL). The court was told that the federal cabinet had removed it from the ECL.
The order further read that the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had neither informed the court about the situation after the suspension of the former premier's sentence nor apprised the court of the removal of his name from the ECL.
The PML-N supremo neither sought permission from the court to go abroad nor informed the court about leaving, it added.
The order stated that Nawaz had to surrender before the court if he was unable to obtain an extension in his bail from the Punjab government and could have challenged the executive order of non-extension of bail in the court.
The court accepted a request from Nawaz's lawyers for an extension in providing arguments for admissibility of the petition in the court.
It adjourned the hearing on a petition against declaring the former PM a fugitive till August 20.