strong class="location">ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday extended – for the sixth time – the deadline given to the accountability court to wrap up corruption references against members of the Sharif family.

The court now has till November 17 to conclude corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had written a letter to the top court requesting for the extension in the trial of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons in Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan composed the three-member bench hearing the appeal to extend the hearing of the corruption reference cases.

During the hearing, defence counsel Khawaja Haris briefed the bench on the proceedings in the case and prayed upon the apex court to extend the trial until November 30.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, granted a five-week extension and also warned of strict consequences if the cases were not concluded during the given time-frame.

The case

An accountability court on July 6 found former premier Nawaz Sharif and two of his family members guilty in one of the four corruption references filed against them in line with the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order and awarded them ‘rigorous imprisonment’ and heavy financial penalties.

In the verdict on Avenfield Apartments reference announced by Judge Muhammad Bashir, the court sentenced Sharif to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, his daughter Maryam to 7 years rigorous imprisonment and son-in-law, Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, to one-year rigorous imprisonment.

The accused were also disqualified to contest election or to hold public office for a period of 10 years to be reckoned from the date they are released after serving the sentence and they shall not be allowed to apply for or to be granted or allowed any financial facilities in the form of a loan for a period of 10 years from the date of their conviction within the meaning of section 15 of NAO 1999.