IHC dismisses appeals against acquittal of Zardari in 4 references

Court reserves decision in Park Lane reference against Zardari
File photo

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday dismissed the appeals against the acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in four 25-year old references after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requested to withdraw it.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the anti graft watchdog had no evidence in these appeals as per the merit as well.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the plea of NAB seeking to withdraw its four appeals against the acquittal of former president in references pertaining to Ursus Tractors, ARY Gold, Polo Ground and SGS Cotecna.

At the outset of hearing, the chief justice inquired that whether the Bureau had conducted any inquiry with regard to the missing of documents related to the cases. Its appeals would have to be dismissed on merit, he added.

Justice Ijaz Ishaq questioned whether NAB did not know about where the record had got misplaced. The chief justice observed that the Bureau might have knowledge about it.

Chief Justice Minallah noted that in the previous hearing the Bureau had stated that the record went missing during its shifting process from the Lahore High Court.

The court accepted NAB’s request to withdraw the appeals.

NAB had adopted the stance that the further prosecution into the appeals would be an unnecessary practice, as even the copies of the documents pertaining to the cases were hardly available. The available documented proof was not sufficient as per law, it added.

The accountability court had acquitted Asif Zardari in 2015 in four references, and the Bureau had challenged the verdicts in the IHC.