Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday rejected three petitions submitted for hearing against the auctioning of properties of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. A two-member bench, headed by Justice Aamir Farooq, rejected the petitions filed by Mian Iqbal Barkat, Muhammad Ashraf and Aslam Aziz, terming those non-maintainable under Article 199 of the constitution. The bench said that the IHC cannot hear the case under Article 199 when the petitioners have others forums available for relief. The litigants should have filed the application to the trial court to stop the auction, it added. The division bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri announced the decision which was earlier reserved after listening to the arguments from the petitioners’ counsel against the property auction in Toshakhana reference. During the course of proceeding, the petitioners’ lawyer contended that an accountability court of Islamabad on April 22 had ordered the authorities concerned to auction the properties owned by former prime minister. He said that the property in Sheikhupura was purchased before the filing of reference against Nawaz Sharif. The lawyer also gave references of the decisions of Supreme Court and Indian courts in similar cases, and said that a sessions court of the area concerned would decide the matter if the property was situated in other district. The lawyer prayed the court to stop the auction of properties scheduled for today. Justice Farooq asked the lawyer that why the petition was filed in delay if the auction was scheduled for Thursday. The lawyer said that the petitions were delayed due to Eid holidays in the country. To a query by the bench, the lawyer said that they could file civil suite but it couldn’t stop the property auction. The lawyer said that the petitions had objected to the auction owning to land purchase deed, lease and family settlements. The petitioner had been given the said house under a family settlement in 2007. He further said that the said land was agricultural and a cemetery of Sharif family was also there. The lawyer pleaded that the three petitioners had invested their money on the property and it was their right to recover the same. The court subsequently dismissed the petitions while declaring them non-maintainable. It may be mentioned here that the petitioner Mian Iqbal Barkat adopted the stance that House No. 135 Upper Mall Lahore belonged to Itifaq Group, which was jointly owned by Mian Muhammad Sharif, Mian Muhammad Shafi, Mian Mirajuddin, Mian Barkat Ali, Mian Abdul Aziz and Mian Idrees Bashir families. Petitioner Muhammad Ashraf stated that the Sheikhupura administration had fixed May 20 to auction the confiscated property of Nawaz Sharif. He said that he had already purchased 88 kanal land from Nawaz Sharif and had paid Rs 75 million against it. He, however, said that the deed couldn’t be implemented due to the arrest of former prime minister. He said that he had approached the civil court for implementation of sale deed. Aslam Aziz said that district administration was confiscating 105 kanal land for auction. He said that he had invested heavy amount on agriculture project at the said land. There was a risk of wastage of his investment if the land was auctioned, he said. The petitioners prayed the court to set aside the decision of accountability court for confiscation and auction of the property.