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NAB to submit complete record of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case

29 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit complete record of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case until December 11, observing that it wanted to dispose of the case quickly.

A three-member SC bench, comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Minakhel, directed this while hearing NAB’s appeal against the Lahore High Court’s order to quash Rs 1.2 billion Hudabiya Papers Mills reference against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

The court observed that the record should have complete details carrying timeline from initiation to closure of the Hudaibiya reference, and its proceedings before the accountability court from March 27, 2000 to August 21, 2008.

“Besides, the record must have answers that who were the NAB chairmen from initiation of the reference to its closure and what was the procedure of NAB chairman’s appointment,” the court directed.

When the court took up the case on Tuesday, it was pointed out that the record was incomplete, adding that even the original reference was not annexed with the record, which was a sheer negligence of NAB’s prosecutors.

NAB’s special prosecutor Imranul Haque sought a month to submit complete record of the case and preparation of arguments. However, the court directed him to submit the entire record until Dec 11.

Justice Mushir Alam asked the NAB’s prosecutor to inform the court as to why the Hudaibiya reference was disposed of by the LHC and why it took such a long time to re-initiate proceedings. The prosecutor stated that the reference was quashed by the LHC on ‘technical grounds’.

To a court query whether Nawaz Sharif was forced to go into exile or he did he go abroad out of his free will, the prosecutor stated that he was ‘sent’ abroad by General (r) Pervez Musharraf.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa noted that Nawaz Sharif returned to the country on Nov 27, 2007, however, the proceedings were restarted against him in August 2008, meaning thereby that the NAB had been sleeping for nine months.

The prosecutor contended the LHC in 2014 dismissed the reference and directed the NAB not to restart it. Justice Qazi Faez Isa noted that the court would first determine who had influenced the then NAB chairman to close the reference and then decide the merits of the case. Later the court adjourned the hearing till December 11.

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