ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday approved a three-year extension in service of the accountability court judge hearing corruption reference against former PM Nawaz Sharif and his family. On Wednesday, the law secretary had informed the Supreme Court that the term of Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir would be extended before its expiry. The assurance came after the apex court took notice of the government’s failure to extend the judge’s term.Chief Justice Saqib Nisar summoned the law secretary to explain what the government was doing about the matter as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had requested the law ministry for an extension in the judge’s tenure.Appearing in court, the law secretary informed the apex court that the summary of the extension has been forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and will be approved in a few days.Judge Bashir has been conducting the proceedings since September last year when the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three corruption references against Nawaz and his family and one against then-finance minister Ishaq Dar in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case. Judge Bashir was appointed to the accountability court in 2012. In 2015, the federal government, on recommendations of the IHC, extended his tenure for three years.Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.