Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Sharif's Paper Mills case: Pakistan SC to form new bench

Sharif's Paper Mills case: Pakistan SC to form new bench

He observed further that he had written 14 paras on the Hudaibiya case in the April 20 judgment of the Panama case, adding that he had observed to reopen the case in his judgment and ordered NAB to reopen the case. While issuing directives to file reference against Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income, the bench said in its order, "So is the case against Ishaq Dar, his assets increased 91 times from Rs 9.11 million to Rs 831.70 million within a short span of time".

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Monday recused himself from a Supreme Court (SC) bench constituted to deliberate a reference pertaining to the Sharif family's Hudaibiya Paper Mills and asked Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to set up a new bench to hear the case. The bench was disbanded after Justice Asif Saeed Khosa recused himself from hearing the matter, saying that he was given the case due to office's mistake. The bench has now been dissolved and now a new bench will be formed. The PG gave the assurance during the hearing of Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed's petition in the court seeking re-opening of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

On the basis of that confession, a reference was filed by the NAB in 2000 before an accountability court against the Hudabiya Paper Mills, three Sharif brothers, Dar and others. It argued in the appeal that the referee judge was not "competent" to set aside the findings of the high court, in which the NAB had been allowed to reinitiate investigations against the Sharif family.

The NAB has made the management of Hudaibiya Mills, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Shamim Akhtar, Sabiha Abbas and Maryam Nawaz as respondents.

A joint investigation team set up to investigate the Sharif family's offshore properties had recommended in its report that the Hudaibya Paper Mills should be investigated afresh.

On July 28, the apex court while announcing the landmark decision regarding Panamagate case had directed the NAB to reopen the case.

According to a senior official of NAB and legal experts, reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case would create more troubles for the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar, who are already in troubled waters facing graft references in the accountability court, particularly Shehbaz Sharif, who was being named as PML-N's next candidate for the office of prime minister. The witness was, however, pardoned by the then NAB chairman.

However, the high court dismissed it in 2014 after Dar claimed that confessional statement was taken under duress. The apex court had also criticised NAB for not challenging LHC's decision to quash the case.

The NAB has challenged the Lahore High Court's verdict, quashing the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya corruption reference against the ruling family.

Like this: