A court on Tuesday warned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return home by September 10 to face a corruption hearing or risk being declared a fugitive from justice. Hearing the appeals pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield property references, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench remarked that it wants to give the last opportunity to the former prime minister to surrender and appear before the court before being declared an absconder. A division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani conducted hearing in a case seeking exemption for Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds in appeals pertaining to graft references. Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Haris and NAB Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana appeared before the court.Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that the court would initiate the process to declare Nawaz Sharif an absconder if he fails to present himself before the court till next date. During the course of proceeding, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris pleaded that his client could still challenge the Punjab government’s decision for rejecting extension of Nawaz Sharif’s bail despite the summons of this court. To this, Justice Farooq said that the court is not depriving the accused from his legal rights. Haris said that his client was not able to travel Pakistan due to his current health state, adding that a relevant case is pending before the Lahore High Court (LHC). Haris said that Nawaz Sharif’s bail was rejected at the time when he was under treatment in London. He said that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif had submitted an affidavit to the LHC assuring that the former will return soon after completion of his treatment. On this basis, the LHC had allowed the former prime minister to travel abroad for four weeks.To this, Justice Farooq observed that LHC could not supersede the decision of the IHC, adding that the LHC’s judgment was in the limits of IHC’s decision regarding suspension of punishment. To a query by the bench, Khawaja Haris said that the Punjab government had rejected the bail extension request of his client on February 27, even after submission of fresh medical reports of the accused. To this, Justice Farooq remarked that the Punjab government is treating the matter in accordance with the IHC’s judgment.Khawaja Haris said that the proceeding of LHC have no connection with this court. To this, Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani said that it is IHC who has to decide the matter as the appeals are pending with it, adding that the decision of LHC is only related to the exit control list (ECL). To this, Khawaja Haris adopted the stance that he was admitting that his client was not on bail currently in accordance with the court verdict. Justice Kiyani asked the lawyer to read the para two of Shehbaz Sharif’s affidavit and questioned if Nawaz Sharif has produced his fresh medical reports to Punjab government. To this, Haris said that his all medical report had been submitted to the IHC registrar office. He said that the federal government could send any of its representative to view the health of Nawaz Sharif.To another question by the court, Nawaz’s lawyer said that his client is not admitted to hospital for treatment but it did not mean that he is fit for traveling. To this, Justice Farooq remarked that Nawaz’s bail in Avenfield property reference is not for a certain time period but his bail state in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case could also affect this case. Justice Kiyani remarked that the accused had not submitted documented proof of his treatment details. “If this had been done, then the Punjab government could investigate it through sending its representative,” he added.Justice Farooq asked that if the court conduct hearing of the situation through its representative and decide the case against Nawaz Sharif then how the decision would be implemented as the accused is staying abroad, adding that what would be status of his appeal if he is declared an absconder. Haris said that the court could take decisions after hearing his client’s appeals even after he had been declared an absconder. NAB prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana said that no representative could be appointed for the accused as he is not in jail currently. Nawaz Sharif has to obey the IHC’s judgment regarding his bail, he said, adding that the accused has not challenged the decision of the Punjab government at any forum. He said that the petition seeking his exemption from hearing is not maintainable and prayed the court to declare Nawaz Sharif as absconder due to not appearance.