Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif today filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the filing of multiple graft cases against him by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has registered three cases of corruption and money laundering against 67-year-old Sharif, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court.
The cases were registered weeks after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.
In the petition, Sharif’s lawyer Muhammad Kassim Mir Jat requests the court to order NAB to file a consolidated case as the filing of three separate cases is “illegal, and violative of law and the Constitution, besides being violative of his (Sharif’s) fundamental rights”.
He maintained that the multiple cases were “violative of his (Sharif’s) fundamental rights” under the constitution as all the cases deal with one accusation about making assets beyond known means of income.
“The filing of multiple references against an accused for the same alleged offence exposes him to double punishment,” according to the petition.
The petition also urges the court to suspend proceedings in the accountability court.
It is so far not clear when the Supreme Court would take up the petitions but any intervention at this stage would be a major relief for Sharif.
The accountability court today postponed the indictment of Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in the Panama Papers case till October 19 after the PML-N lawyers and supporters tried to barge into the courtroom.