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Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir hearing cases against Imran Khan withdraws his long leave application

ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court’s Judge in Islamabad Muhammad Bashir, who is hearing NAB cases against PTI founder Imran Khan, has withdrawn his long leave application.

The Ministry of Law and Justice did not consider his long leave request.

As the Law Ministry did not approve Judge Bashir’s request for leave, therefore, the judge withdrew the application.

Judge Muhammad Bashir applied for leave from January 24 to his retirement date of March 14. He cited “illness” as the reason for his long leave.

In a letter written to the Islamabad High Court and the Ministry of Law and Justice, Judge Bashir said he could not perform his duties due to his poor health. The accountability court judge is retiring on March 14, 2024, after completing his tenure.

It should be noted that two references of Toshakhana and 190 million pounds cases against former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were among the many high-profile cases pending in the court of Judge Muhammad Bashir. 

Other cases under hearing in his court were against former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Raza Gilani and former president Asif Ali Zardari regarding Toshakhana gifts. 

He is also hearing a fake account case against Zardari as well as a NAB reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

In July 2018, Judge Bashir sentenced Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield reference.

The IHC later overturned the verdict on November 29, 2023.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, an accountability court indicted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi in the Toshakhana reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The decision was made during a hearing conducted in Adiala jail, where the former prime minister is currently incarcerated.

A five-member special prosecution team from NAB reviewed the reference against the couple, with Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir presiding over the proceedings related to the Toshakhana and £190 million cases.

The previous day, the court had postponed the indictment after Bushra Bibi failed to appear. During the latest hearing, NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi, along with his team, was present, while Imran Khan was represented by lawyers Latif Khosa and Umair Niazi. Bushra Bibi was provided with a copy of the £190 million case during the hearing.

Simultaneously, Imran Khan has challenged his disqualification in the Toshakhana case. A five-member larger bench is set to take up the petitions on January 12.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.


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