SC dismisses NAB’s plea to reopen Hudaibiya Paper Mills case

Islamabad (Monitoring Desk): Supreme court of Pakistan has dismissed the National Accountability Bureau to reopen Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

The bench is headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprised Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Miankhel. After around four hearings of NAB’s appeal, the court announced its judgment today.

The Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, involving money laundering charges against the Sharif family, was initiated by NAB in 2000 but quashed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2014. The NAB had appealed the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.

As the hearing began today, NAB counsel Imranul Haq stated that the LHC decision has flaws and sought the reopening of the Hudaibiya case so that legal responsibilities are fulfilled.

He informed the bench further that Senator Ishaq Dar, on whose ‘confession’ NAB initiated the reference in 2000, submitted an apology in court.

Justice Isa remarked that the statement on which the case is based has not been attached to the documents by NAB.

Similarly, Justice Alam observed that if Dar’s statement is taken out of the case, then his status will be that of an accused, adding that he [Dar] has not been made a respondent in the case.

“We are hearing the [Hudaibiya] appeal and not [the Hudaibiya] reference,” observed Justice Alam, and directed NAB to satisfy the court on its delay in filing the appeal.

Justice Isa observed that the case went on for years and the charges were not framed.

The NAB counsel also informed the bench regarding the procedure of its chairman’s appointment as well.

The NAB counsel then wrapped up his arguments and asked the court to issue notices to the respondents and allow reinvestigation of the case by quashing the LHC decision.

The court then went into a recess and announced its decision after a short while.

The one-line order was read out by Justice Alam and a detailed order will follow soon.