The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to appear before it by November 24 to avoid being declared a proclaimed offender.
The IHC’s Registrar Office on Friday issued a written order in the proceedings on the appeal in Al-Azizia and Avenfield corruption references, reports Dawn news.
A two-member division bench of the IHC issued the order.
On October 7, the court recorded statements of Dildar Ali Abro, the first secretary (consular affairs), and Rao Abdul Hannan, consular attache at the Pakistan High Commission, London, as well as Mohammad Mubashir Khan, director for Europe-I, at the Foreign Ministry.
Khan tendered as evidence various documents to substantiate that efforts were made in compliance with the court orders to effect service of non-bailable warrants of arrest on Sharif.
“The examination of statements of above-mentioned witnesses as well as the documents show that all-out efforts were made for effecting service of non-bailable warrants of arrest on Sharif in the above-mentioned appeals to ensure his attendance in the court as required under the law, the court order said.
“Despite efforts, it is abundantly clear that service of warrants could not be effected. It is not possible to conclude in such circumstances that appellant is unaware about the pendency of appeal or the requirement to appear before the court, especially so as learned principal counsel for appellant, namely Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court, stopped appearing in the matter after order dated September 15, 2020.
“In this view of the matter, we are left with no option but to proceed further under section 87 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, and order issuance of proclamation for effecting service and intimating the appellant to appear before the court on the date fixed,” Dawn news quoted the order as further saying.
The IHC also ordered that proclamation will be published in the Dawn and Jang newspapers and copies of the same will again be served upon the appellant through High Commission of Pakistan in the UK.
Last year, the IHC granted Sharif, who is currently in London, an eight-week bail in the Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds which lapsed in February.