ISLAMABAD - Granting extension, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the accountability court to conclude the two corruption references against Sharif family till November 17.

The two corruption references include Al-Azizia Reference and Flagship Investments Reference for which the top court in previous hearing had granted time to conclude till October 7.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the application of Accountability Court Judge Arshad Khan seeking extension for Sharifs’ trial.

The CJP also made it clear that it was the last extension and no further extension will be granted. The bench directed the accountability court to submit report weekly on both references.

During the hearing, Advocate Khawaja Haris, Counsel for Nawaz Sharif, also appeared before the court and requested to extend the time for six-weeks. The bench, however, rejected Haris’s request while the chief justice observed that this court always accepted counsel’s plea but he gave such impression that the court was not hearing him.

The bench told the counsel that he could work on weekends as well.

"You can work over the weekends if you want. If the corruption trial is not concluded till November 17, we will schedule hearings on Sundays as well," Justice Nisar said.

During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) counsel informed the bench that the trial on Al-Azizia Reference had been concluded requesting the bench to order the accountability court for judgment on it. The bench however rejected the instant request.

The CJP observed that objection that judge had given his mind would be raised if verdict on a reference announced before.

NAWAZ'S COUNSEL PLEA

APP adds: Nawaz Sharif's counsel Friday sought the permission of accountability court to ask further questions from National Accountability Bureau (NAB)'s investigation officer and last witness in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference Mehboob Alam.

Accountability court judge Arshad Malik hearing corruption reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif served notices to NAB on defence's plea and sought its reply on next date of hearing.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also appeared before court.

The court also adjourned hearing of Flagship investment corruption reference against Nawaz Sharif till next Monday as senior defence counsel Khawaja Haris and NAB prosecutor have been busy in the Supreme Court. The court also directed the prosecutor to submit its report regarding the completion of evidence in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

As the hearing began, the junior defence counsel informed the court that Khawaja Haris was busy in Supreme Court and could not attend the proceeding on Friday.

He requested the court to testify the joint investigation team (JIT) head Wajid Zia in Flagship Investment in presence of Haris and prayed to adjourn the hearing.

However, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that senior prosecutor of NAB was also busy in apex court and unable to appear to attend this proceeding.

He requested the court to adjourn hearing till next date, saying that the prosecution would submit report regarding completion of evidence in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference on next hearing.

Meanwhile, the defence side had submitted a plea with the court seeking permission to ask further a few questions from last witness in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case Mehboob Alam, who was also NAB investigation officer in same reference.

The court served notice to the NAB asking it to submit its reply over the defense request on next hearing.